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January 16, 2014

Hospital ER works on staffing

Three physicians expected to start in next two months.

The emergency room at Logansport Memorial Hospital is on its way to being staffed, the president and CEO says, while busy days continue to extend wait times and frustrate patients.

The hospital recently signed an agreement with Terre Haute-based Advocating Health ER LLC to staff its emergency room.

David Ameen, president and CEO of the hospital, said the emergency room needs four full-time and two part-time physicians. So far three have been hired, but won’t start for another couple of months, Ameen said, as they have to give notice where they are currently working.

The emergency room won’t staff nurse practitioners, but will have scribes, Ameen continued. Those employees will carry out the necessary documentation during patient visits, allowing physicians to spend more time with patients.

As for now, the patients at the ER are being treated by Dr. Kayur Patel, chief medical officer for Advocating Health ER, along with doctors with groups the company is contracted with. Ameen said the company has purchased a house in Logansport where physicians stay when they are not working.

Michael Glendenning, a Logansport resident, thinks there needs to be more than one physician available in the ER at a time. He was there Jan. 9 with a neighbor — a woman in her 70s — who had fallen and injured her wrist, knee and face.

He said when they arrived at the Logansport Memorial Hospital ER at about 2:30 p.m., it was packed with patients. One of them appeared to be suffering from frostbite while another looked like he had separated his shoulder, Glendenning said.

It wasn’t until about two hours later that his neighbor was sent to get an X-ray, Glendenning continued, and about another two hours after that before they decided to leave and see her regular physician the next morning.

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