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July 2, 2013

Hospital planning changes to ER staff

New emergency group scheduled to start in October

Logansport Memorial Hospital will be changing emergency groups in October, the hospital president and CEO says.

Dave Ameen, president and CEO, said the hospital will release the name of the new group after final contract negotiations are complete, which he expects to be later this week or next week.

Ameen said the reason behind the change stemmed from a lack of consistency among the current group.

”We just felt we needed to get a group that was more responsive to the needs of the community and medical staff,” Ameen said. “The current group is not able to give us consistent positions. There are too many doctors coming in and out, and we wanted to get consistency.”

Ameen went on to say customer feedback was another reason behind the change.

”We’re just trying to meet the needs of the community and listen to what customers say and try to respond,” he said.

The new emergency group will likely consist of one part-time and four full-time physicians along with two to three nurse practitioners, Ameen said.

The emergency room is currently set up to have a physician on duty at all times along, with nurse practitioners working in eight-hour shifts. When the new group starts, there will still be a physician available 24 hours a day, but nurse practitioners’ shifts will be bumped up to 10 hours, Ameen said.

Ameen said while the Hospital Board of Trustees is aware of the proceedings, it is hospital management that makes the final decision with insight from medical staff.

The hospital’s current emergency group was contracted out of St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis in 2011 after its bid was selected.

”We looked at multiple groups and wanted to go with the one we felt could provide the highest amount of care available,” Ameen said of the change coming in October. “Cost was not an issue.”

St. Vincent Health recently announced a system-wide, 5 percent reduction in labor costs.

Ameen said this move didn’t have anything to do with the changes coming to Logansport Memorial.

”This was a decision that was made locally,” he said. “We wanted to make a change.”

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com.

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