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Concerned about health service consolidation
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Dear editor,

After reading the article in Friday’s paper about the merger in health care by the University of Kansas, I felt the need to share my opinion concerning certain aspects of this merger. While I am pleased about the unification of St. Rose and Great Bend Regional Hospital, “elimination of duplicate services” may cause significant inconvenience to patients.

As a caregiver of my mother and other elderly citizens, I foresee issues with consolidating radiology and urgent care in separate facilities. It is my understanding that radiology services have been combined at Great Bend Campus (GBRH) and urgent care services at St. Rose Pavilion. The problem arises when a patient seeks care at St. Rose Pavilion, if an X-ray is ordered, that patient must then go to Great Bend Campus for the X-ray. Transporting elderly people can sometimes be difficult to one destination, but adding another stop can make it extremely difficult for those with time or physical constraints. This is tiring to both the patient and the caregiver. Throw in bad weather and it becomes a real nightmare.

It’s true that patients can always choose the Emergency Room at Great Bend Campus, but I do not know the policy or cost efficiency of treating minor illnesses in the ER. I commend The University of Kansas Healthcare’s fiscal responsibility, however, I fear patients will begin to seek care elsewhere if the consolidation of services does not appropriately consider the patient’s entire experience in seeking treatment. 

Dorothy Quade RN 

Great Bend