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WILLISTOWN — Featuring the only trauma center in Chester County, Paoli Hospital played host to Rep. Ryan Costello as he toured the five-year old center.
The Level II center, which opened in October 2010, provides around-the-clock neurosurgical, orthopedic, surgical specialty and intensive care services.
The tour and meeting with Main Line Health and Paoli Hospital senior leadership gave Costello the opportunity to learn more about the hospital and its high satisfaction rating from patients.
“There is nobody else in the county who is coming anywhere close to what our patient experience scores are,” said Jim Paradis, president of Paoli Hospital. “Stu Brilliant, the medical director for our ER, and (the trauma program) in the last quarter were better than 99 percent of hospitals in the country in terms of patient satisfaction. They do a phenomenal job there. They see about 40,000 patients a year. That has a big impact on the community.”
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In fact, in it’s short five years of existence, Paoli’s trauma center has had a huge impact in the county.
“About 16 people a year died because there was no trauma center within the county, as well as all the other variables,” said Kris Kaulback, trauma medical director. “What we’ve shown is when we echo the Chester County Commission’s report, those 16 patients are now surviving that didn’t survive before doing the same statistical analysis.”
In fact, Paoli’s trauma center is doing so well that they are tops in the state as far as saving lives.
“Of the 27 Level I and II trauma centers in Pennsylvania, only five can stand up and say that we have a better mortality than expected, as in, comparative to what statistically is supposed to happen, there are only five trauma centers that can say we are better than that,” Kaulback said. “We save more patients than we’re supposed to save. It’s a tremendous achievement to have done that in such a short amount of time.”
Such a statistic, along with the positive patient feedback is what makes Paoli such an attractive place, not only to patients, but also for employees.
For the third year, Paoli Hospital has been designated a Magnet Facility, along with the rest of the Main Line Health System.
“Most good hospitals you’ll come into, particularly in this community, are magnet facilities,” said Jack Lynch, president and CEO of Main Line Health. “That means they apply for magnet status, they went through a rigorous review by nurses who expect the highest standards and they were determined to be a magnet facility. Magnet draws in staff and there is a high retention.”
That’s just one of the many reasons Paoli Hospital has become a preferred destination for physicians and nurses.
But not everything is perfect at Paoli, which is part of the reason Costello made the trip.
Lynch brought up a couple hot topics that has been in the forefront of hospitals, including Medicare reimbursement and the ability to train young doctors because of decreasing graduate medical education funding.
“I think it’s important that I understand as much as possible,” Costello said. “With the health care industry and regulations happening at such a rapid pace and as we continue to get data on evaluating the effectiveness and what the challenges continue to be, healthcare policy isn’t something that you can put on the shelf and go back to six months later when a bill hits the floor. It’s a much more fluid and involved area that just require, for me, a lot of careful and ongoing attention.”
With the meeting between the congressman and the senior leadership, the hope is for both sides to help each other provide information and other needs.
“I can be more helpful to constituents and to health care facilities the more that I know,” Costello said. “(Senior leadership) can be more helpful to me in being effective by educating me and having me have a very strong foundation and a perspective that matches the challenges and observations that you have.”