Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) is a 222-bed 501(C)(3) not-for-profit hospital in Portsmouth, Ohio, providing emergency and surgical care, as well as a wide range of other health-care services; SOMC has been in the community since 1954. It is the mission of SOMC to truly make a difference in the lives of patients, employees, and the surrounding community.
The operation of SOMC follows guidelines of The Joint Commission, the nation's predominant standards-setting body in health care, and SOMC has received top honors from that organization for meeting standards. SOMC currently employs 2,200 full time employees and part time employees, has a medical staff of more than 140 physicians and specialists, and is supported by approximately 800 regular volunteers.
SOMC, a rural hospital and one of Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Places to Work in America, is striving to provide the highest quality of care to make healthcare a remarkable experience for everyone served. It is the mission of SOMC to truly make a difference in the lives of patients, employees, and the surrounding community. The goals of SOMC encompass the mission and the organization’s five strategic values, which include achieving and sustaining exceptional results in safety, quality of care, service, relationships, and financial performance.
SOMC was ranked first on Ohio’s Top Employers list in 2010 and has been on the list for five consecutive years. SOMC was also named one of Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Places to Work in America. SOMC is the first hospital in the region to achieve the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s highest honor, the Magnet recognition status. This honor, given to only 6% of hospitals nationwide, recognizes national excellence in nursing. Receiving the national gold standard for safety and health, SOMC has been awarded the Voluntary Protection Program Star Designation. Voluntary Protection Program is a cooperative program of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). By earning Voluntary Protection Program Star status, SOMC is in the top 1 percent of hospitals nationwide in safety excellence.
Southern Ohio Medical Center FAQ
Q: What is the difference between a screening and a diagnostic test in oncology?
A screening is used to look for cancer in a patient who is not experiencing any signs or symptoms. This is intended to help find a malignancy in an early stage, which will help the prognosis of the patient and allow for a more effective treatment. An example of this would be a yearly mammogram starting at age 40. A diagnostic test is used when an abnormal finding comes back on a screening. This helps determine if this is in fact a malignancy and its histology.
Q: What are the recommendations for prostate cancer screening?
It is recommended for men 50 years and older to receive a yearly exam. This exam will include a prostate specific antigen level, rectal examination, or both. Your provider will then take those levels and have you come back and repeat testing anywhere from 6 months to 4 years. Although prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, the mortality rate is very low. It is a slow growing form of cancer.
Q: What are some alarming symptoms to go seek medical advice?
These symptoms include difficulty passing urine, increased frequency (going more frequent), men getting up more than once or twice at night to urinate and not completely emptying your bladder. Although these are worrisome, these are very similar to benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate). A rectal exam (DRE) and prostate specific antigen (PSA) will help a provider to distinguish between the two.
Q: What is a normal PSA (prostate specific antigen) test result and how specific is the test?
There is no specific normal or abnormal level of PSA in the blood. In the past, most physicians considered PSA levels of 4.0 ng/mL and lower as normal. A PSA level above 4.0 ng/ml would recommend a prostate biopsy to check for cancer. The trend of a patient’s PSA is also important and will help a provider in determining if a workup is needed. 25% of patients who underwent a prostate biopsy due to elevated PSA levels, were found to have prostate cancer. This doesn’t sound like a good percentage but for the 25% who were found to have the prostate cancer they were very fortunate.
Q: What are some reasons for an elevated PSA?
These include urinary tract infection, prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate), and benign prostatic hyperplasia (benign enlargement of the prostate).