Clinic s Chopper May Ease ER Woes


 
 

Phil Galewitz | | Friday, June 27, 2008


PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The Cleveland Clinic in Weston thinks it has the answer to Palm Beach County's shortage of emergency room specialists.

It's red and yellow, has a giant rotating blade on top and can fly 180 miles per hour.

The clinic is offering its LifeFlight medical helicopter to whisk patients from Palm Beach County ERs to its Weston hospital, where it has hard-to-find specialists standing by.

Because the Cleveland Clinic pays all of its doctors a salary -- and provides medical malpractice insurance coverage -- the hospital doesn't have problems attracting specialists to be on call in its emergency room, officials there said.

By contrast, Palm Beach County's shortage of ER specialists dates to at least 2004. That year, a Lake Worth woman died after being unable to find a neurosurgeon willing to treat her stroke. In 2006, a car accident victim's dangling eye was not treated for a week because an eye specialist could not be found. The same year, a man died when no local gastroenterologist could be found to treat him.

"When time is of the essence, the last thing you want to be doing is calling 15 hospitals and hearing from all of them, 'I can't help you,'" said Dr. Paul Adams, chairman of the emergency department at the Cleveland Clinic.

Until now, because of the long drive, few of the patients who could not get treated in Palm Beach County hospitals went to Weston. They were more likely to be transferred to hospitals in northern Broward County. But with the helicopter, a 45-minute ambulance trip turns into 15 or 20 minutes.

The clinic has received 10 emergency patients from Palm Beach County since it started marketing the service about a month ago. Mitch Feldman, a top Florida executive for Tenet Healthcare Corp., which owns five hospitals in Palm Beach County, doubts the clinic's helicopter will have a big impact.

"It's maybe an isolated or occasional solution," Feldman said.

~phil_galewitz@pbpost.com




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Operations and Protcols

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Fire Breaks Out on New Jersey Hospital Roof

Four-alarms in Bayonne for roof top blaze.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Shooting, EMS Audio

Edited audio from the Parliament Hill incident.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Illinois Ambulance Service on Chopping Block

Peoria Heights EMS depends on property tax vote.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Kentucky Firefighters, Medics Drill for Ebola

Lexington firefighters and medics prepare for possible patients.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Shooting Incident

Solider is shot by gunman at national memorial in Ottawa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Life Link III Trauma Tactics Conference in Minnesota

Conference was designed to enhance the skills of providers of all levels, covering rescue and prehospital situations, to transport and in-hospital treatment.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

EMS Tailgating

Rigs converted for football.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >