Opinion: Two NICUs in San Luis Obispo would be one too many

Friday, March 18th, 2022

By Dr. Steve Van Scoy, Dr. Brad Knox and Dr. Nihal Naccasha

Well being care is an important worry for all citizens, and we should desire both equally the greatest and safest amount of quality treatment.

Fortunately, Tenet Health Central Coast — consisting of Sierra Vista Regional Health care Centre in San Luis Obispo and Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton — is a single of the nation’s safest and most effective hospitals (from nationally regarded unbiased resources, this kind of as The Joint Fee, Wellbeing Grades, The Leapfrog Team, HRC’s Health and fitness Equality Index, the California Overall health and Human Expert services Agency and Cal Medical center Review), an awesome honor that lends even more importance to dwelling in these a breathtaking region.

As doctors that follow at Sierra Vista Regional Health care Heart, we are privileged to provide superior-good quality treatment to all inhabitants. But the good quality of the county’s fantastic health care is in threat of diminishing.

We realize that French Healthcare facility Healthcare Center — fewer than two miles from Sierra Vista — options to create a Neonatal Intense Treatment Device at its facility.

Even though we concur that competitors is fantastic in most conditions, this style of duplicative levels of competition in a county as little as ours will be harmful to clients and the local community.

Sierra Vista Regional Healthcare Center’s Level III NICU has presented innovative new child intense care to the tiniest, most vulnerable people — a stage of treatment rarely discovered in communities the dimension of San Luis Obispo County. To have the safest results and not place infants at possibility, it should have a high quantity of babies.

In addition to the NICU, Sierra Vista specializes in substantial-chance pregnancy and gives the county’s only obstetric hospitalist system and pediatric unit.

We imagine two NICUs in a small neighborhood will reduce both equally amenities from giving the most secure results for the infants. This would be devastating for our community. It truly is a make any difference of daily life or dying.

Right here are some significant information to take into consideration:

• NICU babies are at only 50% of facility capability in our county likely back again 10 several years — even as the only NICU and even whilst caring for babies transferred from neighboring hospitals so they do not have to go outside the house the county — meaning there only are not ample toddlers needing intense care to warrant another application, in accordance to a latest review performed by the nationally acclaimed Journal of American Health care Affiliation.

• The much more a medical center performs a surgical procedure, the safer it is. In accordance to JAMA Pediatrics, quite a few reports dating as far back again as 1979 detect a url amongst bigger mortality prices (more deaths) and lower surgical volume (much less practical experience with a specific procedure).

• Having a remarkably honored clinic assists with the recruitment and retention of remarkably skilled and proficient medical professionals of all disciplines. Experiments show that doctors search for parts that try for high-quality and offer remarkable opportunities.

As San Luis Obispo County’s trauma heart and its only hospital with 24/7/365 pediatric and obstetrics medical professional hospitalists, Sierra Vista Regional Clinical Middle is straight accountable to the group it serves.

Volunteers and patient advocates make up Sierra Vista’s board of directors, along with medical professionals, and endorse affected individual protection to assure that Sierra Vista offers the maximum top quality treatment possible. This is evident in the hospital’s more than 50 awards in client basic safety and satisfaction and in recognition of exceptional results for top quality patient care.

Sierra Vista delivers chopping-edge, nationally acclaimed improvements this sort of as the NicView, Tele-ER, and the first accredited Superior Mechanical Thrombectomy Centre, and has been recognized with the Worldwide Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners Award for maternity care and assistance, placing Sierra Vista in the top rated 2% of neighborhood hospitals in the country.

Due to the fact opening its new newborn intensive treatment unit in 1986, Sierra Vista has taken care of about 7,000 large-danger new child babies. This significant quantity has produced an knowledgeable, properly-educated, regional group that is geared up for any newborn crisis.

What are we jeopardizing with a new by adding a new NICU?

• We threat escalating health treatment expenditures locally. Duplication of expert services usually means a duplication of pricey, remarkably specialised products and staff, resulting in greater health care prices for the affected person.

• We threat mediocre care and larger mortality premiums. No one can be the professional if quantity for any application goes down. With two NICUs, each individual crew receives less working experience. Nationwide data suggests mediocre treatment contributes to poorer outcomes in general and in the end greater loss of life prices.

• We danger getting rid of our doctors. If overall high quality treatment decreases or there is a decline of opportunity, physicians throughout disciplines may possibly leave the area solely.

• We risk losing a excellent neonatal intensive care method. Sierra Vista Regional Health-related Middle has worked tough to turn into an elite center for treatment that involves the county’s trauma center, a Level III NICU, nationally renowned neurosurgical and stroke treatment, and state-of-the-artwork know-how and improvements. This is not a little something that comes about right away, and the local community has currently has as well a lot of a vested desire in the high-quality of NICU products and services to allow it fail now.

It is straightforward: Two hospitals every with their own specialised NICU systems in this kind of a little local community will raise regional wellness treatment costs, reduce high quality of care and damage retention of our greatest and brightest medical professionals. That’s a value way too highly-priced to spend.

• Dr. Brad Knox is a volunteer board member and the healthcare chief of personnel at Sierra Vista Regional Health care Center. Dr. Steve Van Scoy is the hospital’s NICU health-related director. Dr. Nihal Naccasha is a perinatologist and the professional medical director for Obstetrix Professional medical Team of the Central Coast.

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