Welch named new SGH administratorBy PAT BROWN,
The board of directors of Simpson General Hospital made it official. On January 1, 2018, David Welch was named the administrator and chief executive officer for the hospital.
Welch had been interim administrator in March of 2016 and has worked with the hospital in various capacities since May 2007.
His appointment comes on the heels of former administrator Randall Neeley’s retirement. Simpson General is a 25-bed critical access facility. In addition they have a 10-bed geropysch unit and three rural treatment facilities, one across from the hospital, one in Puckett and one in Harrisville.
The hospital has two physicians and five nurse practioneers as part of their 200-staff facility. They contract for emergency room services for doctors as well as nurse practioneers. They have an annual estimated payroll of $5 million.
Welch was born and raised in Mendenhall and attended Mendenhall High School. He and his wife, Charity, have two children, Karli and Mikayla.
Welch said the hospital had just received a Level 6 accreditation for the Electronic Medical Record management system. According to Welch, level 6 in the Health Information Management System Society, a federal program, is not only difficult to achieve but maintaining it is no small challenge.
Welch started his career with Simpson General in Purchasing and Materials Management and later transferred to Information Technology. Over the course of time SGH has worked under two different record management programs. Welch said this has been extremely helpful because he has been able to correlate the clinical side along with the financial side of the business.
He said the fact that his staff is so knowledgeable has made his transition much easier. The goal of the staff, he said, is to provide the best patient care available and always to place the patients’ needs as the first priority.
He said one of his biggest challenges is to keep the hospital profitable despite constant cuts from federal sources as well as insurance reimbursement cuts. He explained that Simpson General is dependent on those sources of funding because they have the critical care access designation. So it is a challenge to stay on top of ever changing rules and regulations from these agencies.
One of Welch’s long term goals is to see that the community as well as the surrounding area continues to have access to quality healthcare in the county. One of his short term challenges, like other rural healthcare facilities, is the recruitment of physicians to rural areas, but he said he currently has a couple of prospects.
He noted that a recent change in June 2017 was in regard to medical records. SGH has implemented a new program that will give patients real time access to their medical records as well as test results and other types of pertinent data.