The City of Minden, Neb. (pop. 2,923), is the home of Kearney County Health Services, a 10 bed Critical Access Hospital with an attached rural health clinic that provides acute and swing bed inpatient care, emergency care, primary care, as well as outpatient surgery, laboratory, radiology, among other outpatient services to Kearney County, as well as the surrounding areas. Laboratory and radiology departments had not been updated since 1971, and new mandates from Medicare required radiography x-ray equipment to be upgraded to digital technology or the hospital would be forced to take reduced reimbursement for radiography services. The City of Minden came to Rural Development for assistance through the Rural Economic Development Grant program in order to obtain zero percent financing for the project.
By completing the laboratory and radiology department renovations, Kearney County Health Services are now centralized into one space in the hospital and allow for more space for the new digital x-ray equipment. The renovations created a safer, quality driven, patient experience and allow for quicker turn around on the x-ray results, while also reducing radiation exposure during exams.
Completed in the spring of 2018, Kearney County Health Services started operating in the newly renovated space and to use the new digital equipment. As of today, 1.5 new full-time equivalent jobs have been created in the department and the number of radiology patients has increased.
“As healthcare evolves, so must we,” said Chief Executive Officer Luke Poore, Kearney County Health Services. “With the assistance of the Rural Economic Development Grant program, we were able to further our mission of continuing to bring exceptional care to those we serve. The equipment and renovated space allowed us the opportunity to continue providing our patients with the absolute best in terms of care and experience.”