On the Road with Ray: California Dreaming and Vegas, Baby!

Posted on Mon, Dec 12, 2016
On the Road with Ray: California Dreaming and Vegas, Baby!

Earlier this year, EmCare’s Executive Team launched a “road trip” initiative to better connect with providers in the field, recognize teams that are Making Healthcare Work Better™, and brainstorm with those that may be struggling on how to overcome the challenges they are facing.

The recurring “On the Road with Ray” feature will highlight these visits and the dedicated clinicians who are providing care at EmCare sites across the country.

By Ray Iannaccone, MD, FACEP, FACHE

When EmCare signs a contract with a healthcare client, it truly partners with the facility. We meet with the facility’s administrators to discuss their specific challenges, opportunities and goals, and begin the important work of assembling a strong, permanent, local team of clinicians to provide care. Not infrequently, these partnerships develop into long-lasting, symbiotic relationships with shared risks – and shared rewards.

Our partnership with Universal Health Services (UHS) is one of those partnerships. EmCare’s joint venture with UHS allows both organizations to leverage their respective strengths in a more formal, integrated capacity. Our interests are aligned, so decisions are coordinated and care delivery is more efficient.

I visited several facilities that are involved with this partnership as part of my “On the Road with Ray” travels. During my trip to southern California, I met with James Rhee, MD, regional medical director in EmCare’s West Division. We visited Southwest Healthcare System, which consists of the 120-bed Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta, and Inland Valley Medical Center, a 122-bed hospital and trauma center in Wildomar. We’ve provided hospital medicine services at Southwest’s hospitals since 2014 and recently added emergency medicine. Combined, both facilities average more than 5,000 patients each month in their emergency departments and more than 4,000 inpatient encounters each month on their hospital medicine services.

We met with the operations team and hospital administration at Rancho Springs and toured the hospital. I met several EmCare-affiliated clinicians and was able to hear their thoughts and concerns first-hand. As at most facilities, communication between providers at Rancho Springs can be a challenge, and I learned how competition, compensation and benefits are impacting our ability to recruit clinicians.

Dr. Rhee and I then met the hospitalists at Inland Valley for lunch, followed by a roundtable discussion with our providers and the CEO of the system. We had a great discussion about creating and fostering a strong team to improve operational efficiencies, and ways that we can leverage the system’s successes.

We then visited Corona Medical Center, where we toured its busy emergency department and met with the clinical team. We capped the day with a dinner nearby. Clinicians from all three hospitals were invited, and we had a casual but productive meeting.

My Vegas Visit

Las Vegas is an important market for EmCare and our parent company, Envision Healthcare. We provide care across the continuum in Vegas through all three of our main business units: EmCare, AMR and Evolution Health.

I met with Flip Homansky, MD, regional medical director, to tour UHS-affiliated sites Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center, Desert Springs Medical Center and Summerlin Hospital Medical Center. We had a leadership breakfast at Summerlin with hospital administrators, Frank Pape, DO, the site’s medical director, and Paul Silka, MD, FACEP, chief executive officer of EmCare’s West Division, followed by a tour of the 502-bed facility.

Las Vegas is a dynamic city that’s going through another remarkable phase of growth. Two million people call the city home, and an additional 400,000 can flood the area on weekends. Despite being served by six emergency departments and two critical access facilities, the city is still short on hospital beds. The EDs that we manage are dealing with boarding issues. Our combined teams are working together to develop solutions to improve throughput and alleviate bottlenecks.

I appreciate the time that our clinicians took to meet with me and explain the challenges that they are facing. It’s information that I can share with leaders at all levels of our organization and at UHS. Collaborating to find innovative solutions is one way that we’re Making Healthcare Work Better™.

On the Road with Ray United Healthcare Services

Visit EmCare's Facebook page for more photos from Ray’s trip! And, if you would like to suggest your site for a future visit, please contact

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