Partnership comes through for patients

When the CT scanner at Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center went down the night of June 6, CEO John Hughes knew who to call.

He soon had McFarland Clinic Executive Director Jodi Faustlin on the phone to see if the hospital’s neighbors could help out.

What transpired over the course of four days was a partnership that had MMSC Emergency Room patients in need of the vital scan wheeled across the skywalk and into McFarland for the test.

Faustlin said this action was key to keep patients in the community, rather than have to send them out of town.

“We are all in this together,” she said.

Aside from the gratitude of the CT scanner, McFarland also offered up the services of CT technologist Tiffany Barthelmy. With one technologist on vacation and one pregnant, Barthelmy put in yeoman’s work over the course of the four days helping patients get the scan.

“Tiffany really stepped up,” Faustlin said. “It’s not easy to interrupt your entire schedule and get your brain ready to see the patients.”

Patients in the ER at MMSC that needed this diagnostic scan were transported down a hallway, into an elevator up to the second floor, across the skywalk, then down another elevator to the CT scanner that is on the main floor of McFarland.

“It actually went really smooth,” Barthelmy said. “Everybody worked together nicely.”

A total of 48 patients from MMSC used the scanner over the course of the four days. Barthelmy said she took pride in being able to help so many people.

“It feels pretty good,” she said.

Hughes said CT scanners like the one at MMSC have an up time (working rate) of 99.3 percent, so it failing is a rarity. The hospital had to wait on a part and a technician to get into town to get it fixed. It is now up and running fine.

Hughes appreciated the help of McFarland and said partnerships are common among health care providers in town.

“This is reflective of the relationship that exists,” Hughes said.