America’s hospitals and health systems are dedicated to doing everything possible for patients, particularly when they need emergency care and as a place for refuge during disaster. Only hospitals provide 24/7 access to care for patients, regardless of their ability to pay. However, in many communities, emergency departments are experiencing higher-than-expected levels of patient demand. This is in part due to a shortage of primary care providers, forcing patients to seek care from an emergency room because they have no other readily available source of care. In other communities, demand for services has increased due to the opioid crisis, the seasonal flu and other factors. When necessary, and to ensure patient safety, a hospital emergency department may go on diversion as a way to meet the needs of its patients. Diversion is not a perfect solution to overcrowding, but it is one strategy used. Some hospitals and the communities they serve are experimenting with other strategies for ensuring that patients’ needs are met in a timely fashion, and the AHA promotes successful strategies as they emerge. The recent USA Today article skimmed over serious limitations with the ambulance diversion study, including that the data used were over a decade old and included just a handful of hospitals in one state.

 

 

Jay Bhatt, D.O., is AHA Chief Medical Officer.

Related News Articles

Headline
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has awarded the University of Alabama at Birmingham about $10 million over five years to study acute…
Headline
HHS is soliciting input and will meet with vendors Aug. 7-8 to spur innovation in developing new technologies and products to save lives and improve health…
Headline
The Centers for Medicare…
Headline
Hospitals and health systems may apply through Aug. 27 for a portion of $3 million in funding to create Pediatric Disaster Care Centers of Excellence to…
Insights and Analysis
A new toolkit from the Greater New York Hospital Association aims to help hospitals and health systems develop and improve their mass casualty incident…
Headline
President Trump yesterday signed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (S. 1379), which cleared Congress earlier this month.