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GRANGEVILLE – “Local businesses and services have been extremely helpful,” Lisa Turner, Syringa materials management, told the Syringa Hospital board Sept. 22.

Turner gave a short presentation on supplies, stock and ordering, especially touching on how COVID-19 has affected hospital orders and its stock of regular and special supplies.

“I didn’t realize the magnitude a pandemic would have on supplies,” Turner said. “We are in good supply of PPE right now, though disinfectant wipes are very difficult to come by.”

In other news, the board discussed the benefits of a possible collaboration with Kootenai Health when they make the changeover to Epic for their electronic health records (EHR). As they now own St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley clinics and hospitals, this system will also be in use in those facilities.

“It would make it easier to transfer patients to those facilities, if we all have the same EHRs, but there’s a lot to consider,” Syringa CEO Abner King said. This includes not only the cost, but also the training on an entirely new system, as well as the ease of transition and how the timing coincides with the lease expiring on the EHR company Syringa is with, Cerner.

“Is your gut telling you there are enough positives to move forward?” questioned trustee Jim May.

“There is potential for it to be financially favorable,” King answered, adding he and other leaders will be looking into the pros and cons more thoroughly, hoping including a presentation on Epic.

During ongoing COVID-19 discussions, board chair Leta Strauss said she would like an e-mail update from Abner (via assistant Dina Cervantes) on county cases.

“I think a weekly report, not just of the numbers tested at Syringa, but countywide, would be helpful,” she said.

Trustee Jerry Zumalt mentioned the state’s public health website that not only updates cases per county, but also offers a variety of additional state COVID information and statistics, county-by-county.

Strauss said this is helpful, but stressed she would also appreciate the local information in that it may be able to explain in more detail what is current, such as with the outbreak at North Idaho Correctional Institution in Cottonwood.

“I want to be as informed as I can be,” Strauss added.

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