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Mercy lab’s ‘issues’ tied to staffing, not training

In support of my profession, I feel compelled to respond to Lenny Papineau’s letter to The Herald dated Wednesday, May 15.

He suggested the decline in quality of healthcare services offered by Mercy hospital are the result of the "corporate medicine" practice of hiring more medical providers and staff, with lower levels of training, in order to cut costs. I agree this strategy may help to reduce costs (something we clearly need), but I respectfully disagree with Mr. Papineau that this has resulted in a lower level of care.

Physician assistants and other advanced practice providers (APPs) are critical members of the health care team who not only provide quality medical services, but also improve health care access. This allows physicians time to focus on more complicated cases commensurate with their training.

Utilizing APPs increases efficiency and helps contain costs without compromising the quality of the care. That means you can get an appointment and be treated sooner. Who doesn’t want that?

I believe the current issues with the Mercy lab are not due to the level of training of their staff but have more to do with not having enough staff to handle the load. Access to medical services and staff retention, not the quality of care, seem to be key issues that Mercy is facing at this time.

I hope that Common Spirit recognizes this and plans to address these critical concerns as soon as possible.

Jonti Fox