NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – MedStar wants the community to know that they aren’t experiencing the challenges with hospital ER offload delays that many EMS systems are currently facing in parts of Texas, and across the country.
The reason is likely due to several important factors:
- MedStar’s area hospitals recognize the essential role that it and other EMS agencies serve for emergency calls in the community, and go above and beyond to help assure their ambulance crews are able to effectively and efficiently transition care to the ER staff so that the ambulance can be available for emergency calls.
- A program that MedStar has in place that allows hospitals to discharge patients from the ER earlier, and their community paramedics visit patients at home to assure their clinical needs are met. This helps decompress the ERs, increasing available capacity for incoming patients.
- Using a special protocol developed and implemented by MedStar’s Chief Medical Officer and EMS System Medical Director, Dr. Veer Vithalani, they don’t transport patients to the ER who are experiencing mild COVID-related symptoms. Those patients are provided an on-scene assessment to assure the absence of any significant medical conditions, and are provided resources on how to access appropriate medical care and testing.
- MedStar launched a new program in April where certain patients with minor medical issues are treated on scene through telemedicine with local emergency physicians. These patients are often not transported to the ER, but rather treated on scene, with options for follow-up care, further helping to avoid preventable ER visits.
MedStar said it uses an evidence-based emergency medical dispatch and response prioritization protocol approved by Dr. Vithalani that helps assure high acuity medical or trauma calls are prioritized over lower acuity calls.