June 5, 2018
UTICA, NY — Timing is everything in emergency medical care. But with treatment specialties divided among two separate hospitals, quickly navigating the best path to care isn’t always an easy task for the more than 1,500 emergency medical service (EMS) providers that staff the 57 ambulance services and 91 ambulances throughout Oneida, Herkimer and Madison counties.
Dan Broedel, program director of Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) Emergency Medical Services (EMS), says that the new Regional Healthcare Campus in downtown Utica will deliver a solution to this current challenge.
“Right now if we have a patient that’s had a heart attack and a stroke, which does happen, we have to evaluate which hospital to take them to because St. Elizabeth is known for its excellent cardiac treatment, but St. Luke’s Campus is a designated stroke center,” said Broedel. “At times it can be difficult for those of us in the field to accurately diagnose the level of need for these complex patients. Having one central location with all the services will make an incredible difference.”
MVHS provides numerous specialty care services that regional patients often need in times of an emergency. These services include trauma, ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) programs (cardiac needs during an emergency), a primary stroke center and a neonatal program. Currently, hospital specialty services are divided between St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC) and the St. Luke’s Campus of Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare (FSLH). Because specialty services vary from one Emergency Department (ED) to the other, patients may present at an ED that does not have that specialty.
As an example, patients who currently arrive at SEMC with stroke symptoms are triaged and transferred to the St. Luke’s Campus of FSLH, the area’s designated stroke center. On a daily basis, EMS transports 10 to 12 patients between the two campuses to ensure they are receiving care at the campus best suited for their needs.
Vinny Faraone, clinical advisor for Midstate EMS, looks forward to the two campuses coming together as one Regional Healthcare Campus.
“With specialty services consolidated at one location, we will be able to avoid the need for so many daily patient transfers,” Faraone said. “We will also be working in a new, more modern environment in the new hospital, which will have an expanded state-of-the-art Emergency Department. These improvements will have a tremendous impact on patients and families by supporting improved access to care and clinical quality.”
Broedel and Faraone are also excited about the location of the new hospital. They say that the downtown Utica location is more centralized for the large regional area that they serve.
“The location of the new hospital actually makes it easier for our ambulances as they come from all directions,” said Broedel. “Right now, all ambulances have to go to the south-end of the city which can make for a longer trip if you are coming from the north, east or west.”
Click here to see an interview with Dan Broedel, EMS program director, on this topic.
For more information on the new regional healthcare system, visit mvhealthsystem.org/new-beginning.