LAKE PLACID —
“We don’t know,” Ralph said. “It has a lot of asbestos in it now. It’s all contained and safe.”
But it presents a challenge for renovation.
The idea isn’t to remove emergency-care access from Lake Placid but to replace it with walk-in urgent care.
Emergency ambulance calls would be routed to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake for critical-care medical services.
That has been happening in a bypass protocol that Adirondack Health instituted about five years ago, according to Dr. John Broderick, chief medical officer for Adirondack Health.
“With the bypass protocol,” he explained at the session, “EMTs (emergency medical technicians) don’t always stop in Lake Placid, continuing instead to Saranac Lake, where advanced imagery and surgery can be performed.”
The Medical Center is 11 miles away.
DECLINE IN PATIENTS
Broderick provided additional data, showing a marked decline in Lake Placid’s walk-in emergency visits.
The smaller hospital, built in the 1950s, sees about 750 fewer patients annually than four years ago.
Emergency walk-ins drop off sharply at 7 p.m. to 0.6 visits per hour and to less than a tenth of one visit by 5 a.m.
Converting emergency service in Lake Placid to urgent care would reduce duplicate health-care services, he said.
The nursing and medical staff would remain in place at the urgent-care center.
The dental clinic and Health Center would stay in Lake Placid.
Treatment for walk-in health-care visits would remain in place.
Osteopathic and sports medicine would remain in place, along with physical-therapy services.
Riccio said the proposal is part of a new vision for the Uihlein campus announced last June — one that would reflect the need for assisted-living services outside a nursing-home setting.
URGENT CARE LESS COSTLY
Doctors anticipate the move would add one or two patients per day to the Saranac Lake hospital’s patient load.