Monday, October 24, 2011

NCH will no longer transport patients between hospitals

COLLIER COUNTY — NCH Healthcare Systems is getting out of the patient transportation business after a mishandled emergency call on Marco Island earlier this month ended with the death of an 80-year-old man.

NCH and Collier County EMS have been under fire since reports surfaced it took 54 minutes to get an ambulance to Paul Anderson, who had suffered a stroke and was at the NCH Marco Island Healthcare Center — an urgent care clinic.

There was confusion over whether NCH’s transport crew or a Collier EMS ambulance would transport Anderson to NCH Downtown Naples Hospital, reports said.

On Friday, NCH Healthcare Systems relinquished its certificate to transport patients, effective immediately, with a letter to Collier County Manager Leo Ochs. The letter was signed by Dr. Allen Weiss, NCH president and CEO.

“We have found that NCH having its own transportation service may have led to varying interpretations as to who is responsible for transport,” NCH said in a prepared statement.

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