SCBH Celebrates 100 Years of Healthcare Services

Swift County-Benson Hospital is 100 Years Old this year.  We’re planning a century year of celebration, starting with Emerald Eve in March 2013.  Watch the web, newsletter or the newspaper for lots more information.

Electronic Health Records: Securing the Future

Electronic record keeping is not a wave of the future, it’s here right now.  Almost every sector of business: banking, finance, education, retail, government, credit bureaus have moved from paper to electronic records.  The government has recently mandated that health care facilities throughout the U.S. need to be equipped with Electronic Patient Health Records by 2014.  Is this good?  We think so.  Will it take a significant financial outlay to implement Electronic Health Records (EHR) over the next few years?  Most definitely.  There will be a large line in the SCBH budget for hardware, software, consultants and staff training.

Here are some of the ways the EHR will result in more informed  and accessible care for you:

  • John was in St. Paul helping his son build a garage.  He shot his hand with the nail gun and needed to go to the emergency room.  The first question the nurse asked was when he had his last tetanus shot.  John couldn’t remember.  It was easily found in the EHR.   EHRs can bring a patient’s total health information together when and where it’s needed.  No waiting for charts to be found and read.
  • Elaine went to the ER with chest pain.  She had to wait in the ER until her doctor came from home to treat her.  With EHR her doctor could pull up her records from home and consult with the ER staff to order additional testing and tell the ER physician and nurses how to make Elaine comfortable until he or she arrived to treat her. EHR’s enable clinicians secure access to information needed to support high quality and efficient care.
  • Or have you kept a running record of your blood pressure numbers over the years? How about records for your glucose levels or all of your cholesterol numbers?  Or paps smears, PSAs, X-Ray and lab information? Your doctor can easily access your individual health history and prescribe tests or order medications directly from the pharmacy.  It will be easy for your doctor to pull up your record and see the changes over the years.
  • At your annual physical or a hospital stay, you could get a printout of your overall results and everything that you discussed with your physician for your records.  Your individual instructions and information can be printed with reminders for follow-up care.

With EHR, all information is held on-site, AND it is also backed up and held off-site in a central system which allows record sharing. The records will instantly be there for you and your health care providers. They can be shared with other providers and will result in fewer duplicated tests.

“When this is accomplished, providers should be able to access our electronic records from anywhere in the U.S.  This will affect thousands of patients having to travel to see a specialist (at the Mayo Clinic, for example) as well as the “snow birds” that go south for the winter,” added Janine Ellingson, RHIT, Health Information Manager.

Does all this come with privacy concerns?   Yes, certainly.   However, do you remember when the patient records were hung on the end of the hospital bed?    Or put in a holder outside your door in the hospital hallway?  Change is inevitable.  With greater access to data, there is always going to be risk and concern about moving away from the old and embracing the future.  Yes, we have a long way to go, and yes, we will remain vigilant to this change and patient privacy.  Overall, in 2014 when Electronic Health Records are in place, you should be able to see an improvement in the safety, quality and efficiency of your care.

Emerald Eve Nets Over $20,000

Under this year’s “Sail into Spring” theme, the over 160 people enjoyed an evening of delicious food, fund raising and dancing during the seventeenth annual Emerald Eve.

When the event was over, the Swift County-Benson Hospital “sailed away” with over $20,000 that will be used for improvements at the hospital’s physical therapy department.

Emerald Eve’s decorating committee outdid themselves this year, with help from friends, spouses, the community and especially from Mrs. Sather’s seventh grade art class who made the pelicans that were perched on each table.

Event organizers are thankful to all the businesses and individuals who contribute prizes, time, money and talent to make Emerald Eve happen each year. This year, they especially want to thank Bob Zielsdorf and his crew from Zielsdorf Auction and Real Estate Services. Bob has conducted the live auction for many years, but this year his crew provided the clerking services for the live and silent auctions. It’s a huge job and the Emerald Eve committee is grateful that one of the most difficult jobs associated with the event has been taken over by professionals willing to volunteer their services!

Counseling Associates Available

If you need someone to listen and help sort out the confusing portions of your life or relationships in a comfortable environment, Counseling Associates has Licensed Mental Health Professionals who provide confidential, comprehensive services.

Help and an appointment is just a phone call away at (320) 843-3454 or (800) 833-3096. We can get you help that you need quickly; we schedule appointments within 2 weeks.  There is a sliding fee scale for Swift County residents and most insurance plans are accepted.


Big Stone Therapies Joins SCBH to Provide Inpatient and OutPatient Rehabilitation Services

Big Stone Therapies, Inc. is pleased to partner with Swift County-Benson Hospital to provide inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services. Big Stone’s services include physical, occupational, and speech therapy services.

The Big Stone Therapies rehabilitation department at SCBH is led by Clinic Manager, Neil Feist, PT. Neil’s responsibilities include managing daily operational functions, overseeing staff, and providing physical therapy services to patients. Its physical, occupational, and speech therapy staff will work to meet the demands of the Swift County-Benson area.

The physical therapists provide a full-spectrum of care to help patients regain strength, mobility, and functionality. They offer treatment for outpatients and inpatients including, but not limited to: orthopedics, post-surgical rehabilitation; hip, shoulder, knee, and ankle rehabilitation; walking or balance disorders; back and neck disorders; joint and muscle pain; arthritis management; stroke rehabilitation; Parkinson’s issues; other neurological issues; and work-related injury rehabilitation.

The occupational therapy team helps outpatients and inpatients function to the best of their ability in activities of daily living. Services include, but are not limited to hand therapy (elbow, wrist and hand); home safety assessment; upper extremity functional exercise (coordination, strengthening, range of motion, and sensory training); activities of daily living retraining (for home or work); and adaptive equipment recommendations; wheelchair evaluations; and cognition and memory assessments.

The speech-language pathologist works with the full range of communication and its associated disorders. The speech therapist evaluates and treats speech, language, and swallowing disorders in outpatients and inpatients of all ages, from infants to the elderly. Therapies for swallowing disorders, stroke impairments, voice disorders, cognition and memory deficits are offered.

Individuals who are considering if they might benefit from outpatient rehabilitation services can talk to their doctor about a referral to Big Stone Therapies or call Neil Feist, PT, Rehabilitation Manager at 320-843-1340.  Anyone on the rehabilitation staff will be happy to explain the process of obtaining a referral.

Big Stone Therapies, Inc. operates 20 clinics in Minnesota and South Dakota. The clinics are either contracted through hospitals and long-term care facilities or are stand-alone, private clinics. Big Stone locations include Appleton, Baxter, Benson, Browns Valley, Farmington, Graceville, Hendricks, Ivanhoe, Madison, Marshall, Minneota, Morris, Olivia, Ortonville, Thief River Falls, Wheaton, and Zumbrota in Minnesota and Milbank, Sisseton, and Watertown in SD. The company was formed 22 years ago by physical therapists Wade VanDover and Paul Treinen. VanDover, CEO, and Treinen, COO, continue ownership in the company today along with Roman Taffe, CAO, and Angela Meyer, Vice-President of Long-Term Care.

To learn more about Big Stone Therapies, please visit their website at

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