This was the situation on Friday.
As I was looking at the radio, expecting to see a big, “Just Kidding,” readout, my driver says, “We’re here!”
I quickly told him not to enter the parking lot, but stop just short of it, in the bus stop. No way the City bus stop could be considered “Hospital Campus” under EMTALA, right?
I keyed the mic again, “Doc, this is Medic 99, can you please confirm I have an altered mental status trauma criteria patient and you are asking me to divert away from your trauma center?”
Without a perceptable delay I hear back, “What’s your ETA 99?”
“Doc, we’re at the property line. If you’re diverting, I need confirmation for the recording and need to get moving.”
“Copy that 99, you are diverted due to trauma saturation, sorry and good luck.”
I tell the driver to hurry along to Saint Closest and call them up on the radio. Instead of asking for a report I hear them say, “We copied your patient information 99, we’ll be ready for you.”
Someone was paying attention, thank goodness, and was being proactive.
When we hit the doors of the ER the nurse let out an audible sigh. “We were wondering where he went.”
“Excuse me?” I asked, confused.
“He wandered off maybe an hour ago after we made him wait for a ride to detox. He was in a fight yesterday, got beat up in a parking lot. Looks like he went back for seconds.”
Talk about Deja Vu.
If you said get a clear diversion order and get moving, you made the right call.