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Hospital board approves colonoscope purchase PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Lee   

During a special board meeting Monday, July 11, East Phillips County Hospital District board members approved the purchase of new colonoscopy equipment for the hospital.

In January of this year, the hospital pulled the trigger on the purchase of a newly refurbished colonoscope as the previous machine had reached the end of its useful life.

They had a good opportunity to get a good used scope for a price of $50,000. They had budgeted $60,000, but with the trade of the old machine, the price dropped $10,000.

Dr. James Schiefen, general surgeon, noticed there wasn’t something right with the new machine from the get go and expressed his concern. There was never an instance that patient care was at danger, according to MMH administrator John Ayoub.

It was stated that the air supply wasn’t sufficient to produce sound images of the colon. Additionally, the processor that allows the scope to take pictures was set on a three-second delay instead of the half-second delay MMH had requested.

MMH immediately expressed concern to the company the machine was ordered from, which sent out technicians to look into the issues. New pumps and a processor unit which was supposed to be programmed to the half-second delay were installed. After the hook-up, the delay was still wrong.

Ayoub said they pushed the technician and sales representative pretty hard and finally the company suggested MMH speak with the executive vice president of the company that provided the machine. The VP said they had done all they could do on it because it was working properly. However, there was still a three-second delay.

Ayoub said Schiefen was still not happy with the equipment and said he didn’t want to perform scopes with the machine anymore.

All scopes scheduled for Wednesday, July 13 were canceled. The next scheduled scopes are on July 28. Ayoub said he doesn’t want to have patients go through the preparation for scopes and then arrive to find out they aren’t going to be provided.

Ayoub said they need to offer scopes to patients.

Board members decided to look at the capital budget and hold off on some purchases that didn’t necessarily need to be made this year. Upon inspection, roughly $102,940 in purchases don’t need to be made this year.

After looking, the board decided to move ahead with the purchase of newly refurbished colonoscopy equipment not to exceed the price of $97,030. The company has agreed to trade the current machine in for a price of $28,500 which will knock the price of the new machine down well below the allotted amount.

The new machine will be set up Wednesday, July 27 and MMH will make sure the technicians will be at the hospital the following day when scopes are performed, should any questions arise.


Holyoke Enterprise July 14, 2011