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More patients at SRMC

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — The number of patients visiting the University of New Mexico hospital in Rio Rancho, Sandoval Regional Medical Center, increased in July after declining since February, according to a recent report by the hospital’s director.

Jamie Silva-Steele, president and chief operating officer at SRMC, outlined the mostly encouraging trends in a memorandum last month to the UNM Health Sciences Center Board of Directors.

Emergency room visits and surgical cases were up, with the latter reaching targets in this year’s budget. Radiology continued to exceed targets. Specialty visits helped the clinics meet their goals in July.

Turnover among SRMC staff was 15 percent for the first six months of 2014, down from 36 percent the previous half year.

The Rio Rancho hospital ended the fiscal year with a loss of only $2.5 million, according to a memorandum last month from Stephen McKernan, chief operations officer for UNM Hospitals, and Mike Richard, physician in chief for the hospitals, to the UNM HSC Board.

From July to September of last year, SRMC expenses exceeded revenues by $5 million.

SRMC made “a significant improvement in the second half of the year,” they said in their memo. The hospital has not yet met the debt service ratio in its debt covenant, but the Federal Housing Authority reviewed SRMC recently and is satisfied with its progress.

— Sterling Fluharty