Mass. EMS agency: Nursing home contractor 'blunder' causes delayed response time
Wester EMS officials said a nursing home contractor reported the wrong location of a gravely ill patient, resulting in a 22-minute response time
By Brian Lee
Telegram & Gazette
WEBSTER, Mass. — A private contractor for a local nursing home "blundered" last week by reporting the wrong location of a 62-year-old woman in grave condition, town Emergency Medical Services Executive Director Gary J. Milliard, Jr. said Monday.
It resulted in a prolonged 22-minute response for the patient, who was at Brookside Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, 11 Pontiac Ave., Mr. Milliard said.
Access Ambulance, Brookside's contractor, reported Wednesday to the South Worcester County Communications Center, which serves Webster and Dudley, that the patient was at Webster Manor, 745 School St., Mr. Milliard said.
Her condition wasn't known to Mr. Milliard Monday, but after the miscommunication was sorted out and she was tended to, she was airlifted to a hospital in Connecticut.
The SWCCC received the call from Access Ambulance at 4:01 p.m. Wednesday.
Gregory Lynskey, executive director of the SWCCC, gave the following account:
"The facility (Brookside) notified this third-party ambulance service, and I can tell you with 100 percent certainty, as well as multiple verifications by my staff, that we sent the ambulance to the location where the third-party ambulance company reported. And that it was only after a third callback to that ambulance company where they provided a different location of where the patient actually was."
Webster EMS arrived at Webster Manor at 4:08, a fairly standard response time, Mr. Lynskey said. It wasn't until 4:19 that Access Ambulance confirmed the patient was in fact at Brookside. The 18-minute lapse was "an abnormal situation," Mr. Lynskey said.
After learning the patient's actual location, Webster EMS arrived at Brookside four minutes later, at 4:23.
"This could have been alleviated by picking up the phone and dialing 911. It was a blunder on Access EMS' dispatching side," Mr. Milliard said.
Two Webster EMS ambulances went to Webster Manor, and workers, with the help of the facility's administrator, checked the first and second floors for the patient.
"We had dispatch calling back to Access Ambulance, and they again confirmed it was Webster Manor, and they gave the same address the second time," Mr. Milliard said.
Webster EMS then went to Lanessa Extended Care on School Street, and then to Brookside.
There weren't any available beds at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, so the patient was taken by Life Flight medical helicopter to the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain, Mr. Milliard said.
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