Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Looking Back....OSF's Dr. Rick Miller (Revised)

Well, it was time for OSF's Rick Miller to jump in and defend OSF and Peoria's EMS. That is what he was paid to do.

See my comments below.

Peoria Journal Star
March 10, 2005

End false allegations about Peoria's ambulance service

Re. Feb. 23 Forum letter by Dr. John Carroll, "Let Peoria Fire Department operate its ambulance:"

Dr. Carroll's letter is filled with misleading statements.

First, the ambulance owned by the Peoria Fire Department never had a license or a staffing pattern to be placed into use. All pre-hospital services that provide ambulance transport are strictly governed by the Illinois Department of Public Health. The fire department does an excellent job as a basic life support, non-transporting agency.

Second, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for Peoria have markedly advanced in the past 20 years through a commitment by the Peoria area hospitals to support a single quality agency. This agency pioneered throughout central Illinois the first critical care curriculum for paramedics and transport and has been accredited, receiving an outstanding score. Dr. Carroll's attempt to paint a picture of negligence and poor care is absolutely erroneous and inflammatory.

Third, emergency rooms at St. Francis, Methodist and Proctor receive traffic from up to 80 different ambulance agencies. The quality of care of each patient transported is of great importance.

Protocols have been developed for quality patient care to be delivered. In the last five years, the system has continued improvement by the addition of medications for all in the system. Physicians who monitor patient care and work to improve EMS protocols are provided a stipend for their services.

Dr. Carroll continues to create, by innuendo, a sense that the system he knows little about is not meeting the needs of Peoria. It is a shame that this continued dialogue may confuse some people regarding emergency care for the city.

Dr. Rick Miller
Medical Director
Peoria Area Emergency Medical System

Comments by me March 26, 2009:

1. If you scan down to the post below, where are the misleading statements that Dr. Miller attributes to me in the article from February 23, 2005? I was pleading for transparency in Peoria's EMS and was willing to buy the PFD ambulance that they were selling on e bay?

My point is that OSF and AMT, using Dr. Miller, did not want this to happen. AMT's money is made in patient transportation and they did not want to lose any of this to the PFD.

2. Actually Dr. Miller's Forum article is full of misleading statements.

3. The PFD ambulance could have been used by them if Dr. Miller and Dr. Hevesy at OSF had agreed. The Matrix consulting firm had noted in 2004 that the PFD had applied to Dr. Miller to outfit their engine with basic and advanced life support medication and equipment and their request was denied. And Dr. Hevesy worked for IDPH. So Dr. Miller did not need to cast all the responsibility on IDPH. This was diversionary and misleading on his part. The decision to let the PFD use their ambulance was a local decision that should have been made by Dr. Miller and supported by Dr. Hevesy. IDPH would have backed the local project medical director's decision.

4. Notice that Dr. Miller did not mention Advanced Medical Transport (AMT) by name any where in his Forum article. He referred to AMT as an "agency". He did not want the public to read a letter from him, respresenting OSF and Peoria Area EMS, with any connection to AMT at all. In reality, OSF and AMT are joined at the hip.

And his statement about 80 different ambulance agencies in the area was just meant to be confusing. Dr. Miller just wanted AMT to imperceptibly blend in with all of the rest. But AMT had been paying Dr. Hevesy for years to get what they wanted.

5. Dr. Miller wrote that my "attempt to paint a picture of negligence and poor care is absolutely erroneous and inflammatory." Please scroll down to my February 23 article and tell me where I wrote of "negligence and poor care". I didn't write of negligence and poor care. Dr. Miller was misleading the reader again.

6. Dr. Miller wrote that "physicians who monitor patient care and work to improve EMS protocols are provided a stipend for their services". What he didn't tell the public was who was providing the "stipend". What he didn't want people to know was that AMT had paying Dr. Hevesy for years. Was AMT paying Dr. Miller also?

7. As indicated on a previous post, I heard from an excellent source that a very high ranking EMS physician asked to be the Medical Director of the PFD for a salary. And if this occured the PFD was assured they would advance from Basic to a higher level of medical care--Intermediate or Paramedic. Peoples' lives in Peoria should not depend on whether the PFD paid off a physician.

8. Unfortunately for Dr. Miller, his Forum article was badly timed. He stated that the Peoria EMS, which he was Director, was meeting the needs of Peorians. The PFD warned Dr. Miller several months later that the needs of Peorians were not being met and that things needed to change before the media found out. Pre-hosptial patient management in Peoria was not optimum to say the least. The "negligence and poor care" that Dr. Miller was writing about was occurring under his watch.

Several months later, behind the scenes, Dr. Miller would give in and allow PFD paramedics to use their skills for the first time in Peoria EMS history.

More to come.

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