An Exceptional First Year
It has been one year since we finalized our affiliation with Albany Medical Center. We pursued that partnership because we believed it offered significant benefits to Saratoga Hospital and our community. Already, that”s proving true.
As with any affiliation, we spent much of the first year getting to know each other”s organizations and identifying what”s possible. Granted, we had an advantage because Albany Med and Saratoga Hospital had partnered in the past. Those collaborations played a key role in our decision to affiliate. They also laid the foundation for some significant early successes.
Our community now has access to medical services that Saratoga Hospital could not offer on our own. We will also realize millions of dollars in savings because of our new combined purchasing power. That”s money that we can reinvest in staff and programs to better serve the Saratoga region.
Here are just a few examples of how our affiliation is enhancing care in our community:
24/7 emergency cardiac care: Saratoga Hospital now offers emergency stenting and other interventional cardiac procedures. Heart attack patients can be brought directly to Saratoga Hospital and begin receiving potentially lifesaving care an average of 40 minutes sooner than in the past, when they had to travel to other hospitals. This is one of the most important, exciting services we”ve ever brought to Saratoga County. The director of our interventional cardiology program was recruited by Albany Med and Saratoga Hospital, and is an Albany Medical College faculty member.
Endocrine (thyroid) surgery: A fellowship-trained endocrine surgeon from Albany Med will soon be performing procedures on-site at Saratoga Hospital, making another specialty service available right here, close to home.
Residents and rounding: Surgical residents from Albany Medical College now complete a clinical rotation at Saratoga Hospital. They gain invaluable experience in a community setting, and Saratoga Hospital gets an advance look at promising recruits. In addition, recordings of grand rounds at Albany Med are now shared with Saratoga Hospital physicians as part of ongoing education efforts.
Improved access to plasma: A critical blood product for patients who have severe bleeding, plasma is costly and has a fairly short shelf life. That presents a challenge for smaller hospitals. Underestimate, and there”s not enough plasma on hand. Overestimate, and expensive blood product expires and is wasted. By rotating plasma with Albany Med, we avoid both situations.
Expanded reach: The affiliation with Albany Med has made Saratoga Hospital an even more attractive community partner. The North Country”s Hudson Headwaters Health Network (HHHN) recently turned to Saratoga Hospital to provide endocrinology services at HHHN”s primary care practice headquarters. HHHN also recently partnered with Albany Med to provide outreach services to women experiencing high-risk pregnancies. In addition, the two organizations have a longstanding arrangement offering Albany Medical College students the option of completing some of their training at HHHN sites.
These are impressive examples of the types of opportunities we needed to seize to position Saratoga Hospital to continue to thrive in today”s healthcare environment. They also reflect the commitment of board members from both organizations, working together to achieve the collective vision of a regionally governed system. Three Saratoga Hospital trustees sit on the Albany Med Board of Directors, and two Albany Med directors are members of the Saratoga Hospital Board of Trustees.
This is just the beginning. The more we work together, the more we realize the wisdom of our affiliation””and what it will mean for our community.
Angelo G. Calbone
President & CEO
To read the entire issue of Access Magazine ”“ Winter 2018, click here.