SOUTHBRIDGE/WEBSTER – Harrington HealthCare System has announced its Emergency Departments (ED) in Southbridge and Webster are now staffed by Associated Physicians of Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians (APHMFP) of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).
The collaboration brings seasoned physicians, nurse practitioners (NP) and physician assistants (PA) to Harrington’s Emergency Care Centers to manage patient care and oversee clinical measures.
As part of the transition, all Emergency Department providers who were Harrington employees became APHMFP employees effective October 1. Nursing staff and Nurse Managers remain as Harrington HealthCare System employees. There were no staff reductions or layoffs to complete this partnership.
This past spring, Harrington had an opportunity to evaluate the staffing model in its Emergency Departments following a critical shortage of physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
“We had a decision to make: recruit, hire and train several Emergency Medicine providers — which would have taken considerable time and resulted in an extensive period of interim coverage — or consider a partnership with a high-quality organization to collaborate in a way that made sense long-term,” said Ed Moore, President and CEO. “The partnership with APHMFP/BIDMC brings an even higher level of excellence, clinical standards and academics to our Emergency Departments and we are pleased to let our community know this decision supports our investment in their future by providing the best in emergency care.”
The healthcare system expects a seamless transition between staffing models.
“We feel confident this will not disrupt patient care in any way,” Moore said.
This isn’t the first partnership between the two healthcare organizations. Since 2007, Harrington’s Diagnostic Imaging Department has been staffed by HMFP/BIDMC radiologists, who read and interpret all adult scans, perform interventional radiology procedures on-site and provide 24/7 coverage for the department.
“One of the goals of Associated Physicians of Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians is to bring the best possible emergency care to the community and to provide an optimal working environment for emergency medicine specialists,” said Richard Everard Wolfe, M.D., Chief of Emergency Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “Our patient- and provider-centric approach ensures that we can retain high-quality providers, allowing us to help community hospitals recruit the best talent despite a relative shortage of emergency medicine specialists in Massachusetts. [Ed Moore and] Harrington HealthCare System’s philosophy perfectly aligned with our strategy. Together, we have established a dynamic partnership to provide us with the resources needed to bring the emergency care of large academic centers to the community.”
The Department of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at BIDMC is staffed by over 150 board-certified, attending physicians, many of which are faculty at Harvard Medical School and are academically focused on both scientific and administrative/leadership and research.
The BIDMC Emergency Department is also home to the Harvard Medical School-affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency program, a highly-rated and competitive three-year residency program with a total of 39 residents (13 per year), who have been selected from over 1,000 annual applicants. Its faculty publishes extensively in the field of emergency medicine, leading to evidence-based medical practice, and manages multiple international fellowships in Disaster Medicine, Emergency Ultrasound, ED Leadership and Administration.
APHMFP Emergency Department focuses on the community and manages four affiliated hospital emergency care centers, including markets in Worcester and New Bedford, and cares for over 250,000 patient visits per year. The department has also developed uniform clinical practices, quality systems, and transfer protocols to ensure excellent patient care throughout the network.
Harrington’s Southbridge and Webster Emergency Departments see an average of 42,000 patient visits per year.