I will have more to say when I have more time but the two big things to come out of last night’s meeting are:
1. The Hospital and Board are fully committed to treating stroke patients at the Hospital. The thought that Alameda Hospital provides subpar care is just so foreign to them that it is impossible to contemplate. The thought that the Board might dictate clinical direction is so frustrating to Jordan Battani that she almost lost her cool. I admit it is ridiculous for it to come to this, but the Hospital is perfectly happy hurting people because they are not able to admit that they are not the greatest in the world, (nor California, nor even a 20 minute radius of Alameda). Dr. Barger of Alameda County apparently wants every single hospital in the County to obtain PSC. That’s news to me and, I think, a mistake unless transfer agreements are required as a condition of initial EMS routing. Also, Stebbins doesn’t understand statistics or, more likely, is deliberately misrepresenting the data (she has in the past) to argue that Alameda is just as good as any other Hospital in the County when it comes to stroke care. That is demonstrably not true; In 2009, Alameda Hospital had a higher risk adjusted mortality for stroke victims than the average for Alameda County with a p-value <0.05.
2. Alameda Hospital has no legal authority to operate and has been in violation of state law for 9 years and counting. Other hospitals in the state may be in the same situation. All hospitals were required to be NPC-2 compliant on 1/1/2002. No exceptions nor extensions have been given for this law. Any hospital not compliant with this regulation may not provide acute care services in the non-compliant buildings. Is this just the way things work with a wink and a nod? Do these regulations have no meaning? It seems to me to be, at a minimum, a mini-scandal. Also, for all the ignorant people who want to argue that Alameda Hospital is required because a catastrophic earthquake might cut the Island off. Guess what? The Hospital is going to fail long before land routes off the Island do (and that’s not even considering alternate modes of transportation). In fact, based on what I know right now, Alameda Hospital may be one of the more dangerous places in Alameda to find yourself in the event of an earthquake with the potential to cause structural damage.