Lafayette General Medical Center and Opelousas General Health System are collaborating on cardiology and neuroscience services in an effort to provide “best practice” medical care in both specialties.
“As health care has evolved with more advanced equipment and highly specialized care, hospitals realize they cannot work alone and be successful,” says LGMC President and CEO David Callecod. “By sharing information and resources between our facilities, we can reduce variation in how care is delivered." Callecod points to studies showing that treating patients — whether at OGHS or LGMC — according to best practice guidelines improves the overall quality of medical care.
The affiliation is actually designed to keep patients and their family members close to home by treating more patients in Opelousas and St. Landry Parish.
“Both hospital cardiovascular programs are under the medical direction of Cardiovascular Institute of the South cardiologists, so it makes sense for us to partner for cardiac care,” says Gary Keller, president and CEO at Opelousas General Health System. “By utilizing Lafayette General’s experience with critical care, our staff will be able to treat more complicated heart cases here at Opelousas General. When highly critical cases do arise, our affiliation will enable us to transfer patients to Lafayette General quickly and efficiently. In both cases, the patients will benefit tremendously. Additionally, this affiliation will begin to position us for better integration of services in the future.”
Callecod believes that the affiliation will benefit patients needing neurological services as well. “Our plan is to establish clinical protocols at Opelousas General for neuroscience services, such as for stroke,” he says. “The goal, as [it] is for cardiology, is to help OGHS provide the best care for neurology patients in St. Landry Parish and ensure a smooth and quick transfer to Lafayette General when the need for a specialist, such as a neurosurgeon, arises.”
Callecod stresses that an affiliation with Lafayette General offers a different kind of partnership. “Any time a patient is transferred here, our goal is to get them back to their referring physician,” he says. “We want them to be treated locally, surrounded by loved ones.”