News from the Wasatch Back

Geoffrey M. Crockett, MD, FACEP

Year over year, Park City and Heber Valley Hospitals are seeing increased demand with record ED volumes as the Wasatch Back continues to demonstrate unprecedented growth. Accordingly, both hospitals have made significant upgrades to meet these demands. Staffing models continue to adapt and change, and we are meeting demands well, while continuing to provide the high levels of quality and customer service our community has come to expect.

Park City Hospital went through Trauma IV re-designation last month and passed with very positive feedback. Discussions were had around becoming a Level III Trauma Center, which will be explored. The ED continues to grow and in 2024 we will undergo our first physical expansion since opening in September of 2009.  Patients suffering blunt force trauma continue to make up a substantial percentage of our ED census, and as such we have found the need for and will be adding a second CT scanner. We also continue to increase the offerings of the hospital. Our capabilities for inpatient pediatrics, including full time pediatric hospitalists, have increased significantly over the past couple of years and we are particularly excited to announce we now have full-time pediatric ortho coverage. The ED itself remains mostly single and double coverage with a novel call system and flex up hours that allow us to meet seasonal and holiday demands.

Some years ago, we transitioned Heber Valley Hospital from mostly FP coverage to full-time Board-Certified EM Physician coverage. This has been great for the community and very well received, allowing many patients who previously would seek care in Utah County or Salt Lake to remain in the Wasatch Back. There is considerable staffing overlap between Heber and Park City Hospitals with all the ED docs doings shifts at both facilities. While it remains a very small critical access hospital, the quality of care received by patients rivals that seen in bigger centers. This has been demonstrated year over year by the record increase in volumes and positive community response.

With the advent of tele critical care, although we still do not have intensivists, ICU care on the Wasatch Back continues to advance. Park City has four ICU beds and can take care of some lower-level acuity ICU patients. While volumes still do not support full time cardiology or neurology, Park City is a designated stroke receiving center and we are well versed in providing initial evaluation and stabilization of both stroke and cardiac patients with the ability to rapidly transfer patients to higher levels of care when necessary.

The Wasatch Back continues to grow, and the two hospitals continue to adapt and evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of our community.