“Our goal is to change the nature of emergency care at Auburn Community Hospital,” said Dr. Patsy Iannolo, President and Medical Director of Eastern Finger Lakes Emergency Care. The group has been selected to provide emergency and urgent care services for ACH, with all physicians living within 40 minutes of the hospital. The group started at ACH on July 1, 2013, although Dr. Iannolo and several others of the group have practiced at ACH for a number of years.
“The importance of having services provided by community-based physicians is that we are accountable to the community,” said Dr. Iannolo. “When local people regularly see our staff at ball games, in the grocery story, and at other community activities, they will feel more comfortable coming to us for care when they need it.”
Dr. Patsy Iannolo
Scott Berlucchi, ACH President and CEO, stated: “ We listened to our community and have taken action. The new ER physicians are all doctors from upstate, doctors we know, which is what our community asked for.
Our goal was to recruit the best and the brightest, and we accomplished that in hiring Dr. Iannolo’s experienced group of physicians.”
The physicians, in addition to Dr. Iannolo, are Dr. Mitchell Feldman, Dr. Paul Koenig, Dr. Shakeel Usmani, Dr. Barbara Connor, Dr. Michael Cunningham, Dr. Eric G. Shaw, Dr. Francine Cantor, and Dr. Farzad Sarmast.
Each of these physicians has been practicing Emergency Medicine for at least 15 years. The group has strong connections to hospitals in the surrounding area -- such as Upstate, St. Joseph’s, Crouse, Strong Memorial, and Rochester General – and personal connections with each hospital’s doctors. And the new ED group also has established relationships with the Emergency Medical Services in the area. For example, Dr. Iannolo is the Medical Director for TLC Emergency Medical Services and the Auburn Fire Department. “These relationships provide an enhanced ability to coordinate pre-hospital care and to ensure the safety of patients when they are being transferred,” Dr. Iannolo said.
Dr. Iannolo and the group have already begun fulfilling their goals for ACH:
* Raise the quality of care
* Increase patient satisfaction
* Increase the satisfaction of physicians practicing in the community
with the Emergency Department through better communication
* Raise the academic standards for ED care providers; provide in-house
teaching and other educational opportunities
* Rebuild team spirit with the ED nurses
* Improve the level of respect for the ED in the community; increase
consistency of providers
One important change that is already benefiting patients is the institution of triple coverage at the busiest times of day in the Emergency Department (2 p.m. to 9 p.m.) In addition, the group is enhancing the efficiency of care by avoiding unnecessary tests.
Increased focus is being placed on patient satisfaction surveys. A staff person will work with each patient to ensure that the surveys are completed before they leave, rather than sending the survey home with the patient, which has yielded fewer responses. In addition, photos of all the ED providers will be posted in every patient care room, to familiarize the patients and families with the staff.
Another improvement by Eastern Finger Lakes Emergency Medical Care is the extension of hours at the Urgent Care Centers – Finger Lakes Medical Care at 303 Grant Avenue, Auburn, and Urgent Medical Care of Skaneateles at 803 Genesee Street, Skaneateles. The new hours are 8 a.m.to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.
According to Mr. Berlucchi, “In the next three to six months, a lot of problems of the past will be corrected. We have heard you, our community, and you can look for the improvements you asked for. We will be lowering wait times, initiating a fast track system, and ensuring quick access to compassionate, quality care. We know the ER is very important and often makes the difference between life and death. The new group has been endorsed by the Medical Staff, the Board of Directors and Administration. The Nursing Staff speaks highly of them. We look forward to showing our patients the highest quality care, provided by outstanding physicians who live in our own community.”
Dr. Iannolo trained at Upstate Medical Center, where he earned his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. He teaches at Upstate and is former Medical Director of Oswego Hospital. He has also served as Medical Director for several ambulance services and volunteer fire departments. He is Board certified in Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine and has been practicing both since 1983.