Archive for October, 2012

October 23, 2012

St. Joseph Named Area’s Only Cycle IV Chest Pain Center

After a rigorous evaluation of its ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack, St. Joseph has received Cycle IV accreditation by the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC).  St. Joseph now holds the highest level of Chest Pain accreditation in the area.

About SCPC Designation

Hospitals with SCPC accreditation have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack.  These facilities emphasize the importance of standardized diagnostic programs that provide efficient and more effective evaluation.  They also provide more appropriate and rapid treatment of patients with heart attack symptoms.

For Patients

Cycle IV accreditation means St. Joseph provides the highest level of care for patients with heart attack symptoms, by meeting and exceeding the SCPC’s stringent criteria.

St. Joseph has effective processes in place to:

  • Reduce the time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis and treatment.
  • Treat patients more quickly during the critical window of time when heart muscle can be preserved.
  • Monitor patients when it is not certain that they are having a heart attack to ensure that they are not sent home too quickly or needlessly admitted to the hospital.

In 2011, St. Joseph treated:

  • 461 acute heart attack patients
  • 4,900 chest pain patients

About the Society of Chest Pain Centers

The Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC) is an international not-for-profit organization whose mission is to transform cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create communities of excellence that bring together quality, cost and patient satisfaction.

October 2, 2012

St. Joseph ER Physician Named Medical Director, Bryan Fire Department

The City of Bryan has named Aaron Buzzard, M.D., St. Joseph Emergency Physician, Medical Director of the Bryan Fire Department (BFD).

This initiative is expected to improve emergency care in Bryan and BrazosCounty and allow for seamless care from the scene to the hospital.

Patients will directly benefit from this partnership.  Benefits from this agreement:

  • Dr. Buzzard and other St. Joseph ER physicians are authorized to communicate medical advice to medics in-field, when requested.
  • Dr. Buzzard can respond to the scene when needed in the event of serious emergencies.
  • Dr. Buzzard will develop training curriculum for BFD medics.
  • Improved training for BFD medics, who will have the opportunity to train in the Emergency Department and learn from doctors and specialists at St. Joseph.  Dr. Buzzard will also provide in-field medical training to EMS crews.
  • BFD now has access to the latest evidence-based procedures, protocols and research at St. Joseph.  If a protocol change is needed, BFD can adapt simultaneously with the hospital.

Bryan Fire Department Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

  • Bryan Fire Department continually analyzes to improve its ability to provide the highest level of patient care.
  • BFD operates four ALS ambulances every day, along with a paramedic supervisor, and every fire truck is staffed with at least one paramedic.
  • In 2011, BFD responded to 7,150 medical calls which is over 78% of all calls responded to by BFD.
  • In 2011, 5,707 transports were made and over 95% were taken to St. JosephRegionalHealthCenter in Bryan.

BFD has operated under medical direction from a Dallas-based doctor since 1995.  While EMS care has been very good, the ability to interact with the Medical Director was not possible due to his location.  BFD has been looking for a group of local physicians to partner with to bring the medical direction locally.

The medical director of an EMS agency is a physician who provides guidance, leadership, oversight and quality assurance for the practice of local paramedics and EMTs.  The medical director is generally responsible for the creation of protocols for treatment by paramedics and providing leadership to the group of physicians who assist with the provision of medical oversight. The medical director may also assist the EMS agency in extending its scope of practice.

About Dr. Buzzard

Dr. Aaron Buzzard has been a Board-Certified ER Physician for seven years, four of which have been with St. Joseph.  He spent 10 years in the Army and eight in the Army National Guard and Army Reserves.  During that time he served four combat tours in Iraq at a Level 1 Trauma Center and on-board fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.   He also has experience as a combat medic and EMT.

Dr. Buzzard and his family at the press conference.

After receiving his undergraduate degree from TexasA&MUniversity, Dr. Buzzard attended medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.  He completed his residency at DarnallArmyHospital in Fort Hood, Texas, and received additional trauma training in Houston, Dallas, Austin and Detroit.

Along with the other physicians who see patients at St. Joseph ERs, Dr. Buzzard is directly employed by Emergency Services Partners (ESP).

Trauma Care Capabilities Expanding at St. Joseph

Currently, St. Joseph Regional is designated as the Lead Level 3 trauma hospital in our seven-county region.  Early next year, St. Joseph expects to receive a Level 2 designation.  At that time, St. Joseph Regional will be the only Level 2 Trauma Center between Waco and Houston.

With paramedics from the City of Bryan Fire Department, St. Joseph and St. Joseph AirMedical collaborating to provide life-saving, excellent care, it is these organizations’ and agencies’ shared goal that the result be a seamless experience for patients.

In 2011, St. Joseph treated:

  • 1,678 trauma patients
  • 461 acute heart attack patients
  • 486 stroke patients
  • 4,900 chest pain patients
  • 68,405 ER patients (55,601 in Bryan) (12,804 in College Station)

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