11:03 AM

On a gurney, in an ambulance...by choice

Between 50 and 80 patients arrive at MetroHealth Medical Center every day by ambulance.

They come by Metro Life Flight’s ground units, Cleveland EMS and neighboring transport services. The minute they are on their way to MetroHealth, the patient experience begins.

To gather information on what that experience looks and feels like – and how we can improve it – members of MetroHealth’s Campus Transformation team took a ride with Cleveland EMS.

Kevin Ortner, MetroHealth’s Director of Campus Transformation, wanted to get the full experience, so he did what any patient would do coming by ambulance: He got horizontal.

 “I wanted to be on the gurney to feel the most realistic patient experience possible,” he said. “It gave me a real appreciation of what our patients experience.”

The ride was a bit bumpy, Kevin said.

Although the condition of the roads across Cuyahoga County is out of our control, we can control how we design our new campus.

“Things like the angles of corners that affect the turning radius of vehicles are in our control,” Kevin said. “We also have control over lighting and signage, as well as trees that may be blocking signs.”

Creating a campus that’s easy to navigate is essential, especially for trauma patients.

“Our ambulance bay is always busy,” said David Yarmesch, MetroHealth’s EMS Coordinator. “Designing from the patient’s and EMS crew’s perspective will support the potentially life-saving care of our patients.”

As the ambulance navigated its way through city streets, Josh Zielinski, Project Superintendent from Donley’s Inc., took note of signage needs so EMS personnel could easily spot entrances, exits, deliveries and drop-offs.

This is especially important during construction.

“We want all of our first responders to feel confident that we will have signage that clearly shows them which roads are closed or accessible,” said Kevin.