In Munster, there's a new system in place providing care to critically ill patients as they're being moved to and from facilities. The Adult and Neonatal Critical Care Transport Team was developed by Community Hospital and Prompt Ambulance. Transport team members include a respiratory therapist, physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant and nurse trained in specialty care medicine. The transport vehicle is an intensive care level ambulance that allows the team to provide non-stop monitoring and vital life support for neonatal, neurological, respiratory, cardiac and trauma patients. [Photo/provided]
“The benefit to our critically-ill patients is tremendous when we can ensure their safety while getting them the extra resources they need,” Donald P. Fesko, CEO, Community Hospital. “With the team and the transport ambulance centrally located at Community Hospital in Munster and just a phone call away, it can reduce the response time when high-risk patients need to be transferred for additional care.”
The neonatal transport system was set in place to transfer critically-ill or premature newborns from Community Healthcare System sister hospitals — St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart and St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago - to Community Hospital in Munster (if the level of care is appropriate) and/or a children’s hospital should a baby need the expertise of a medical center.
“When a critically-ill baby is born and needs to be transported to a higher level of care than a regular or special care nursery, it is often a time-consuming process to transfer the baby to a hospital equipped to provide this type of care,” said Ameth Aguirre, M.D., University of Chicago neonatologist on staff at Community Hospital. “Through this system, we are able to expedite this process by automatically accepting premature and critically-ill babies from the other area hospitals and bring them to Community Hospital or transport them to the University of Chicago Medicine for subspecialty care or surgery in a more efficient manner.”
“When you have very sick patients - seconds can be imperative,” said Ronda McKay, vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer. “You have to immediately respond, and if you have to wait, then the patient can suffer. Here, we have one team coordinating care. It’s a seamless way for our patients to receive care no matter where they are in our hospital system."