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Milwaukee County Puts End to Hospital ER Diversions by Ambulances

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 4:25 PM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

EMS Live in Wisconsin Podcast

Successful report tied to core value of patient-centered EMS delivery

>> Click for on-demand playback and listen now!

What started decades ago throughout Milwaukee County EMS as a seemingly well-intended policy to divert ambulances to less crowded hospital emergency departments now represented an opportunity to realign patient-centered EMS delivery within the context of a changing health care landscape. 

According to Milwaukee County EMS Medical Director Dr. Mario Colella, "In the era of diversion, we noticed when one hospital went on diversion other surrounding hospitals soon followed, patient satisfaction diminished and ambulances were forced to drive further away from their communities.  Most importantly, patients that were sick were denied access to the closest emergency care".

With the phased in policy, ambulance diversion officially ended April 1, 2016, in Milwaukee County.  Now, a report has been authored on the outcomes from the policy change.  >> Click to review the report's executive summary.

The podcast was recorded on April 25.  Guests included Milwaukee County Emergency Management Director Christine Westrich, Milwaukee County EMS Medical Director Dr. Mario Colella and Milwaukee County Emergency Management Program Director Ken Sternig.  >> Click for on-demand playback and listen now!

The following questions were discussed:

  1. What is the history of Hospital Diversion and why is "non-diversion better?
  2. How did Milwaukee County coordinate this among paramedics, hospitals, etc.? 
  3. Did you stage the approach or go cold-turkey on the actual operations?
  4. Did the data show what you expected -- has there been any fallout or successes?
  5. What's next for the Milwaukee County EMS System?

EMS Live in Wisconsin is broadcast live on the phone and via the internet the second and fourth Tuesday every month starting at 9:00 a.m. and typically running 30 minutes. 

Don't miss a beat of the action - listen to EMS Live in Wisconsin.  >> Click for past show archive.
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