About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
Seven changes that improved patient care
A visit to 5 South yesterday and a conversation with Eleanor Redmond about the newly designated stroke center at Mary Washington Hospital got me to thinking:
What are the most important health-care changes that have occurred in the region in, say, the last five years? For the residents of the Fredericksburg area, what new services or improvements have meant better medical care?
My answer, and these are in no particular order: (Your thoughts are welcome.)
1. Commitment by Mary Washington Hospital and local cardiologists to offer cardiac catheterizations 24 hours a day. Related to this is the ability of some local rescue squads to transmit EKGs from the field. Both speed the care that a heart attack victim needs.
2. Opening of Stafford Hospital Center.
3. Commitment by HCA to build the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center.
4. Opening of the Level 2 trauma service at Mary Washington Hospital.
5. Commitment by Mary Washington Hospital to hire neurologists and offer 24-hour stroke care.
6. Physical additions to the hospital, from the expansion of the intensive care unit to the construction of the west bed wing.
7. Decision by Mary Washington to lower the patient-to-nurse ratios. Coverage varies but most day-shift nurses are now caring for four or five patients.