Distance No Obstacle for Access Center Team
When someone unexpectedly needs hospitalization—an outpatient who is too sick to be cared for at his or her clinic, for example—it's the quick thinking and collaboration within UW Health's Access Center that gets them where they need to be, safely.
The center also arranges for consults among doctors, a service that recently saved a baby's life and allowed the infant and his family to stay together in a hospital outside Madison, while still receiving outstanding care from UW Health physicians and nurses.
The newborn was being cared for in a regional NICU, whose staff became concerned about his condition and realized he was going to need a higher level of care— and fast.
The NICU immediately contacted the Access Center and connected with a specialist at the UW Health American Family Children's Hospital to discuss options for an over-the-phone consultation, and possibly a transfer to the children's hospital.
The nurse handling the initial phone call listened intently and gathered up all the necessary details, and then brought in a pediatric neurologist who was able to provide guidance on a treatment plan for the baby.
The patient's condition fluctuated throughout the night. A second phone consultation allowed for a UW Health doctor to provide guidance on which antibiotics to administer, and a third call allowed the regional NICU team to discuss MRI results with the UW experts.
Thanks to technology and the teamwork of multiple Access Center RNs, service lines and the regional NICU staff, the baby and his family were able to stay put and get started on the road to recovery.
"Keeping a regional patient in their local hospital of choice ensures continuity of care and eliminates unnecessary hardships on patients and their families," explains Access Center manager, Luke Sticht MSN, RN, CCRN. "The cooperative practice is also financially beneficial for everyone, from the family to the facilities, and is part of UW Health's commitment to patient- and family-centered care."
Telephone triage nurse Glenda Edmond-Nolla, RN, says she and her colleagues in the Access Center see each other as a support network. "We come from diverse backgrounds, which is great because of the many different types of calls we receive," she says. "We're a good team!"