ED Wait Times and the Ambulance Patient Offload Crisis: What EMS Needs to Know

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ED Wait Times and the Ambulance Patient Offload Crisis: What EMS Needs to Know
  • September 29, 2021 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Prolonged patient offload times are an increasing challenge for EMS systems as the delta wave of COVID cases crushes emergency departments throughout the country.  Unprecedented patient volumes in often understaffed EDs are causing an EMS crisis as ambulances are being tied up for extended wait times, sometimes for hours on end. EMS crew members are being told they must wait with their patients – sometimes even in their ambulances – until the ED staff is ready to accept them. Nationwide reports indicate that many EMS agencies, and individual EMS practitioners, are stressed to the breaking point.    

This important webinar comes at a critical time for EMS agencies across the country.  Among other questions, this webinar will address:

  • How does the federal EMTALA law apply to the ambulance patient offload issue?
  • Can a hospital make our ambulances and crew members wait with the patient? How long?
  • Can we direct a patient to a different facility if we know the hospital of their choice has extended wait times?
  • Can we leave the ED with the patient and go to another hospital when wait times are excessive?            
  • When can a hospital divert an incoming ambulance under the law? Is EMS required to follow a diversionary order?
  • What strategies can we employ to measure and reduce our ambulance patient offload times (APOT)?
  • How do the rules differ for hospital-owned and non-hospital-owned ambulances?
  • Can a hospital’s helipad be used to transfer a patient from ground to air ambulance without triggering EMTALA?

The attorneys at PWW will address these and other issues head on.  This webinar event will arm you with knowledge of the applicable Federal laws so that your EMS agency can level the playing field with your facilities. And most important, we will address practical strategies and solutions your agency can consider to address this crisis.


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