In response to a January 1 emergency department staffing contract change at Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio, the president of the American College of Emergency Physicians Becky Parker, MD, FACEP, released the following statement:
“We are deeply concerned about the continuity and stability of training for the emergency medicine residents working in the Summa Health System following the abrupt shift in contracted emergency physician services from Summa Emergency Associates to U.S. Acute Care Solutions. Hospitals and health systems change staffing contracts routinely, but what is not routine at Summa Health is the abruptness of the change. Typically, it takes 90 to 120 days for a transition to be completed, to allow for adjustments to personnel, schedules and infrastructure. We are concerned about what plans Summa Health has to ensure smooth transition for the residency program and the residents directly involved.
“One of Summa Health’s top priorities must be to preserve the integrity of the training and support of its emergency medicine residents. Residency is a critical part of any physician’s education, and a clear plan, executed quickly, by Summa Health, is crucial to its residents’ education, training and well-being. The three years of residency are intensely focused on putting into practice, under stable supervision, the skills that are essential to a lifelong career in emergency medicine. Disruptions to that training can have damaging reverberations.
“We look forward to hearing about a more detailed plan from Summa Health on a seamless transition while continuing to provide a first-rate education to their emergency medicine residents of today and for the years to come.”