Given the projected demographic trends and the actual statistics from the surrounding hospitals considered above, it is obvious that the "business" for open heart surgery is moving into the Cabarrus Memorial Hospital area. In the interim however, the hospital administrators on the Board will have to consider possible alternative strategies before making a "go/no-go" decision on the possible addition of the open heart program. Unfortunately, a helicopter medevac average price is $7,500-$8,000. This will of course vary based upon the medications and supplies used during trip ("How much does," 2011).
First of all, in the opinion of the author, we have identified an access problem for the present CMH area residents to the existing open heart surgery facilities at the surrounding hospitals. As noted in the case study text, driving to Charlotte is a major problem. The immediate issue will be relieving this before an open heart surgery center is functioning at CMH (ibid, 812-813). This is a very sticky problem with few immediate alternatives short of a full open-heart surgery program.
Also, it will be the continued gradual expansion of open heart surgery programs at the CMH, such as the cardiac catheterization program that was started two years earlier. Even with the success of the program, CMH 82 patients to outside hospitals for angioplasty as well as 117 to open heart surgery. To make matters worse, Rowan Memorial Hospital which is located a half-hour's drive to the north in Salisbury opened its own cardiac catheterization service and might compete in the future for the cardiac catheterization "market (ibid, 813-814)." If Rowan provides open heart services the results are clear, the hospital desperately needs to provide full service cardiac services, including open heart surgery to its patients.
This primarily leaves financial considerations. Capital costs will $3, 273, 180. The hospital had sufficient reserve funds to cover this. Significantly, there will need to be an increase in 23 new staff employees for the new open heart surgery unit and a need for ten new beds to become operational as coronary care beds and one new open heart operating suite. The clinical personnel will cost $711, 793 (Ibid, 815-816).
Survival rates go up significantly for patients at hospitals with open heart surgery centers. A comparison 19 hospitals found that risk algorithms showed superior performance and accuracy in survival 30 days and one year after being treated in hospitals in open-heart surgery programs in-house, and EuroSCORE, NYS, and Cleveland Clinic in CABG-only surgery (Nilsson, Algotsson, Hoglund, Luhrs, & Brandt, 2006).
In the opinion of this author, the hospital needs to go for the application for a license for an open heart surgery unit and needs to open. For Cabarrus Memorial Hospital to continue to have a positive reputation as a progressive teaching hospital and to grow with the region's population this not just a nice to have thing. It is the next item that is necessary for the hospital's survival and the health and well-being of the population it serves. Otherwise, we will loose out to those hospitals that are stepping forward to provide these services and people will use their services instead.
Heart. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.cmc-northeast.org/body.cfm?id=51.
How much does a ride in a medevac helicopter cost? (2011). Retrieved from http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100329055051AAbYeqW.
Nilsson, J., Algotsson, L., Hoglund, P., Luhrs, C., & Brandt, J. (2006). Comparison of 19 pre-operative risk stratification. European Heart Journal,…