Swedish Begins Offering Newborn Intensive Care Transport Service
SEATTLE, March 1, 2003 -- In response to requests from other Puget Sound-area hospitals, Swedish recently started a direct transport service for critically ill newborns. The service began earlier this year and transports infants from other hospitals in the area to the neonatal intensive-care unit at Swedish Medical Center/First Hill Campus. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to hospitals in the immediate metropolitan region, including King County, Snohomish County and north Pierce County. Swedish has access to a dedicated medic vehicle through a contract with American Medical Response transport services. When a hospital calls to request a transport, Swedish's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU; the "Special Care Nursery") dispatches a three-person team that includes a nurse practitioner, a registered nurse and a respiratory therapist. The team stabilizes the infant and brings the child back to the First Hill campus for continued care and treatment. "Some of the areas we're focusing on are a rapid response time, excellent customer service and follow-up with the referring hospital after the patient has been admitted," says Susan Hasty, R.N., nurse manager of the Swedish NICU. Swedish's Level III NICU -- which offers the highest level of newborn intensive care -- has been a referral center for other intensive-care nurseries in the region for many years. About 600 infants are treated in the Swedish NICU each year.