Massachusetts General Hospital has built an important relationship with York Hospital, along with several other community hospitals in the northeast. In collaboration with these affiliates, Mass General provides sub-specialty care to patients in convenient, local settings.
York Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital announced in 2014 that the two institutions have a formalized incremental clinical affiliation to share resources and expertise to better serve the people of the Maine Seacoast and Southern Maine.
According to York Hospital President Jud Knox: “This collaboration is the culmination of a shared viewpoint that the best place to care for patients is within their own community whenever possible. If the expertise and resources can be brought to the patient, then that’s what this collaboration will allow us to do.”
The relationship originated in 2007 when Massachusetts General Hospital entered an agreement with York Hospital to provide remote telestroke services to York patients. Since then, physicians and patients have had real-time 24/7 access to Mass General’s expert stroke neurologists via TeleHealth video connection. The successful program has averaged four to six patients a month, with approximately one-third requiring air transport to the Boston teaching hospital.
Not limited solely to virtual visits, the collaboration has expanded over time to include Massachusetts General Hospital’s team of experts providing on-site consulting concerning best practice guidelines, education and transfer assistance for physicians and staff in Oncology, Critical Care, Emergent Care, Quality Care, Pediatrics and other York Hospital services.
Additionally, with the expanded relationship, those patients who require treatment or coordination of highly complex disorders will benefit from a more seamless transfer to MassGeneral.
Massachusetts General Hospital President Peter L. Slavin, MD, calls the expanded relationship with York a prime example of how hospitals can work together across state lines to coordinate care. “This collaboration enables us to further extend the specialized expertise from a Boston academic medical center into an outstanding community hospital in Southern Maine,” Slavin says. “Our focus is to continue fostering connections among clinicians that lead to the best possible care for patients and families.”
Ultimately, what both Massachusetts General and York Hospitals hope to accomplish through this clinical affiliation is to bring an elevated level of medical expertise to our patients who need it most, allowing them to heal more quickly, within the community they care for and the community hospital that cares for them.