Letter: Have you been impacted by Mayo changes?

Published 7:48 pm Thursday, May 9, 2019

Albert Lea just came off a harsh winter with record-setting snow. Weather events repeatedly disrupted care for our patients who no longer have access to a local ICU or inpatient surgery.

From day one, we knew lives would be at stake with inpatient hospital services being removed from a community of 18,000 people and a service area of 55,000.

The capable local medical team that backed each other up when the ER or other departments were full has already been significantly eroded in the past 18 months. During this winter, we still had med/surg beds. That department is slated to move to Austin in June as part of Mayo’s consolidation plan.

Email newsletter signup

Our ER has to function at times as an ICU with little backup. We know from a story in the Albert Lea Tribune that at least one patient spent a full day and night in the ER in February when she could not be transferred right away to an ICU due to weather. Next winter, without med/surg, we will have even fewer medical resources when patients are stranded in Albert Lea.

People don’t always know where to turn if their care has been impacted by these changes. Besides contacting Patient Experience at Mayo, I urge patients to fill out a”Patient Safety Concern or Event” form with the Joint Commission. To find it, you can type these terms into your web browser or go directly to this address: https://www.jointcommission.org/report_a_complaint.aspx.

The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs across the country. Its accreditation is a symbol that an organization meets certain performance standards, including safety and high quality. Hospitals take Joint Commission inquiries seriously.

Please cut this information out of the paper and share with your friends and neighbors. Let their concerns be heard, too.

Jennifer Vogt-Erickson

Albert Lea