St. Patrick hospital

Kathy Schaefer, regional director of women's health for Providence shows one of the new labor and delivery rooms at St. Patrick hospital in Missoula.
Eric Whitney

Missoula’s St. Patrick hospital invited the media to see its new family maternity center that opens Monday. Women’s Health Director Kathy Schaefer showed off one of the hospital’s seven rooms where moms will deliver babies.

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In America, there’s a big problem with people getting discharged from hospitals, and then having to come back because something went wrong. Medicare, the government health program for people over age 65, sees about 20 percent of its patients being re-admitted within a month of being discharged. And that costs money.

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A new list of hospitals designated as Ebola treatment centers is out, and none of those hospitals are in Montana. The list was released by federal Department of Health and Human Services Tuesday.

In September, Missoula’s St. Patrick Hospital said it has been provided federal funding to build, “a specially equipped bio-containment wing,” and that its staff, “are highly trained in specific and unique protocols necessary to treat” patients with “serious infectious disease agents.”

Charting the Path of the Deadly Ebola Virus in Central Africa. PLoS Biol 3/11/2005: e403 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0030403 (CC-BY-2.5)

Governor Steve Bullock says he's confident that should Missoula's Providence Saint Patrick hospital be asked to treat an Ebola patient, it would provide top notch care.

St.Pat's is one of four hospitals in the country specifically prepared to care for someone with such a highly infectious disease.

As we reported yesterday, some people who work there aren’t sure the hospital is adequately prepared to accept an Ebola case.

Missoula City Website

The news that a nurse has contracted the first-ever case of Ebola transmitted in the United States could make it more likely that any future Ebola patients in the United States might come to Missoula. That nurse in Dallas became infected while caring for a patient from west Africa.

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Today Providence Saint Patrick Hospital in Missoula said that it is ready to admit a patient with Ebola if the need arises. A hospital press release says there are no immediate plans for an Ebola patient to be sent there, but that it has received funding from the National Institutes of Health to treat such patients.

The release says its special Care and Isolation Unit is separate from other patient areas and has equipment that “provides an extraordinarily high level of clinical isolation compared to standard hospital rooms.”

 

More big changes are in store for hospital medical care in Missoula. Providence St. Patrick hospital announced today it is adding comprehensive women's and children's services, including obstetrical and newborn care, and a Level 2 neonatal intensive care unit. The new services will duplicate services at Missoula's other hospital - Community Medical Center - and the announcement comes in the wake of Community's recent decision to become a for-profit hospital under the new ownership of the Billings Clinic and Regional Care Network.