University Hospitals Joins Regional Trauma System

[Photo courtesy of University Hospitals]
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University Hospitals is joining on to a regional trauma care system with MetroHealth Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic. The move comes about a year after UH opened a trauma center on the east side of Cleveland.

MetroHealth and the Cleveland Clinic started the Northern Ohio Trauma System in 2010, intended to coordinate care for people in need of serious emergency medical attention.

MetroHealth’s level 1 adult trauma center was the only such facility in the city—until late 2015, when University Hospitals opened its own.

“Putting a trauma center together and making it function well takes time,” Dr. William Annable, the interim chief medical officer at University Hospitals, said at a news conference on Wednesday. “Level 1 trauma is a big leap and requires a lot of work. And we’ve recruited some good surgeons, and I think we’re ready to move ahead for all the right reasons now.”

Initially, the regional system resisted the idea of UH operating a trauma center independently.

“I don’t know that those concerns are gone, but the way to address those concerns is for all three of those systems to come together,” Dr. Robert Wyllie, the chairman of the regional system NOTS, said at the news conference.

Wyllie said the three hospital systems laid the groundwork for expanding this partnership during the response to the 2014 Ebola scare and last year’s Republican National Convention.

After about a year of discussion, hospital officials say they’ll be working together under a new charter.

Wyllie said emergency workers will factor in traffic patterns and weather when determining where to take patients.

“We’ll look at all those things in terms of providing the most appropriate care at the most appropriate center in a timely manner,” he said.

In addition to Metro and UH, there’s a third level 1 adult trauma center in the system, at the Cleveland Clinic’s Akron General Hospital. 

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