University Hospitals is joining on to a regional trauma care system with MetroHealth Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic. The move comes about a year after UH opened a trauma center on the east side of Cleveland.
MetroHealth and the Cleveland Clinic started the Northern Ohio Trauma System in 2010, intended to coordinate care for people in need of serious emergency medical attention.
MetroHealth’s level-1 adult trauma center was the only such facility in the city—until late 2015, when University Hospitals opened its own. Initially, the regional system resisted the idea of UH operating a trauma center independently.
“I don’t know that those concerns are gone, but the way to address those concerns is for all three of those systems to come together,” The Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Robert Wyllie said.
Wyllie is the chairman of the regional system, called NOTS. After about a year of discussion, hospital officials say they’ll be working together under a new charter. Wyllie says emergency workers will factor in traffic patterns and weather when determining where to take patients.
“We’ll look at all those things in terms of providing the most appropriate care at the most appropriate center in a timely manner,” Wyllie said.
In addition to Metro and UH, there’s a third level-1 adult trauma center in the system, at the Cleveland Clinic’s Akron General Hospital.