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New Marshfield Medical Center EMS coordination team to improve patient outcomes

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 7:32 PM CDT
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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) - A new, expanded EMS coordination team at Marshfield Clinic Medical Center in Marshfield is working to make all of the people involved in responding to medical emergencies better.

The center always had an EMS coordinator, but when she retired and Marshfield Clinic looked to fill the position, the emergency department medical director, Dr. Clint McKee said they decided to expand it to a two-person team.

“As a trauma center, as a stroke center, as a rescue one center, there’s (sic) a number of opportunities that we have to provide additional training and feedback that will aid in the pre-hospital care of the patients and we felt like there was an opportunity for us to do a little bit more,” he explained.

The team members came from within Marshfield Clinic. They are Karen Fluegel, who is a registered nurse with 30 years of health care experience and 24 years in EMS. She worked in the emergency department and is currently an emergency medical responder, advanced medical technician, and firefighter. Kristin Taylor is a critical-care paramedic from Marshfield Clinic’s urgent care and United Ambulance Service. She has 12 years of experience in pre-hospital care, is clinically trained, and has worked as a first responder, intercept, paramedic, emergency department, and pre-hospital 911.

“One of the things that we wanted to accomplish with this is a little bit better interface between EMS and the emergency department itself and with their dual role, they’re really able to see things very well from both sides of the scenario and so there’s just a gap that will be filled in that role,” McKee said.

They will be the link between the hospital emergency department and the more than 20 first responder services, like Marshfield Fire Department.

EMS Deputy Chief, Steve Bakos, said they are constantly training their EMS teams, but always like when they can get training from a variety of sources.

“As much as we try to do training in-house, we also have online training, especially this last year,” he said. “It is also nice to get specialized training in and that’s where one of the coordinators, I know, is already working with us to get more critical care specialized training for our critical care paramedics.”

The team will also provide critiques on the back end of calls to help make care from the scene to the hospital better.

“A good example would be, say a serious trauma call,” Bakos began. “After the call, we do look for review from the Marshfield Medical Center and find out how our crews did, if there’s (sic) areas we can improve on. So, constantly coordinating on past calls, things our crews have done great and maybe some areas that we can improve.”

Bakos said, with the exception of 2020 where service calls changed due to the pandemic, service call volumes have been steadily increasing. With more than 20 service lines and increasing calls from each line, McKee said the coordinator position needed to expand to provide better patient care.

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