CCH posts small surplus for fourth year

Cornwall Community Hospital CEO Jeanette Despatie, left, and board chairman Michael Turcotte, center, review the financial statements while a member of auditing firm KPMG presents the report. The hospital ended the year at the end of March with a slight surplus. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – The region’s hospital has ended its fiscal year with a slight surplus, repeating the trend for a fourth year in a row.

During the Cornwall Community Hospital’s AGM Thursday night, board members heard the health care facility ended the year March 31, 2015 with a $262,618 surplus on its $116.5 operating budget.

The firm KPMG LLP of Kingston presented the audited financial statements to the board and members of the public in the hospital auditorium.

Revenue was slightly higher at $116.8 million, of which 70 per cent comes from the provincial government.

“We had a great year. We saw lots of patients. Certainly the demand for services continues to increase. Fortunately (we’re) managing within the budget we’re allocated…it’s getting more difficult to do that,” CEO Jeanette Despatie told Cornwall Newswatch.

Despatie said an aging population continues to put a strain on the health care system.

CCH processed 59,968 emergency room visits, performed 122,026 diagnostic tests and performed 9,360 surgeries.

The budget surplus, which she describes as “miniscule” in a $120 million budget, will be rolled into the next fiscal year. “At least it’s black and not red,” she said.

The AGM also heard about the growth and popularity of the CCH women’s and children’s health program. There were 519 babies born in the past year and the midwifery program, which now has seven registered midwives, has seen midwifery births jump 140 per cent compared to the year before.

Next challenge

With the consolidation of the Second Street and McConnell Avenue hospital sites behind them, Despatie says the transformation to electronic patient records will be the hospital’s biggest challenge this year.

“That transformation will actually probably impact more people working at the hospital than even the new building and moves et cetera over the past 10 years. It will really transform how we deliver care and probably every one of our processes,” the CEO said.

Work on the electronic patient records started in February with the system slated to be in place by August 2016.

The system will eliminate physical paper work for a patient. “Just having access to that information real-time will have a tremendous benefit,” Despatie said.

Here are some other statistics from the annual report:

  • Community mental health visits: 26,504
  • Admissions: 7,522
  • Clinic visits 37,463
  • Cornwall Hospital Foundation money raised: $1.2 million
  • Number of Cornwall Hospital Foundation donors: 1,563
  • Equipment purchased: 1 cardiac ultrasound, 1 bariatric wheelchair, furniture for the critical care family room.
  • $500,000 transferred for the To Your Health! campaign
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