Huntington Memorial Hospital Launches Intensivist Program for Critical Care Patients

March 18, 2015

Members of the Huntington Pulmonary Medical Group

Members of the Huntington Pulmonary Medical Group include: Ashish Patel, MD, Mendy Gonzalez, NP, Melinda Medeiros, NP, Daryl Banta, MD, Brooke Chandrasoma, MD, Ayman Saad, MD (Not pictured: Michael Gurevitch, MD & Lauren Delgado, NP)

Huntington Memorial Hospital has partnered with Huntington Pulmonary Medical Group (HPMG) to create and implement a Leapfrog Group-compliant Intensivist Program. The Critical Care Unit (CCU) at Huntington Hospitalwill now be staffed by ABIM Critical Care Board Certified physicians solely dedicated to providing coverage to Huntington Hospital, following evidence-based medicine and nationally recognized quality and safety standards.

Paula Verrette, MD, senior vice president of quality and physician services has been instrumental in the implementation of the Intensivist Program. “This new program ensures that a certified expert in intensive care medicine is available around the clock in our CCU to assess patients, consult with primary care physicians, respond to questions from other members of the care team, and lead care-related decision-making to support optimal patient outcomes,” said Dr. Verrette. “Given the high baseline risk associated with the CCU population and the model’s demonstrated impact on quality and patient outcomes, Leapfrog’s Intensivist-led staffing model for critical care has become the gold standard nationwide.”

Hospitals that are compliant with the Leapfrog standard for CCU physicians staff their CCUs with intensivists who are present during daytime hours and provide care exclusively for CCU patients. An ICU physician staffing (IPS) model has been shown to reduce the risk of mortality in the CCU by up to 40%, shorten CCU length of stay, and increase cost-effectiveness. The IPS model is endorsed by the National Quality Forum and is used by multiple top ranked hospitals nationally.

Participating intensivists in Huntington Hospital’s program will be dedicated entirely to in-hospital critical care. Those selected will have completed a primary residency and board certification in a specialty area such as surgery, internal medicine or anesthesiology, as well as an additional two- to three-year fellowship and certification in critical care medicine. Their availability is expected to improve patient survival rates, further enhance quality of care, promote medication safety and decrease the potential for complications arising from critical care procedures.