Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Guest Post from Bob Rhoades - EMS Re-Routing

Guest posts are welcome and encouraged. If you have something to say and are able to do it in a respectful, reasonable way, send your piece to darkejournal@gmail.comThe contents of guest posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions of

Did you know that it is standard protocol in most hospitals to go on re-route if conditions warrant? That includes Wayne Health Care right here in Greenville. It’s happened twice in the last two days.

What this means is, when conditions exist which won’t allow them to adequately take are of incoming emergencies, they notify dispatch that medic crews need not show up at their door with someone because the emergency room isn’t accepting patients. If you are in an auto accident at SR 47 and US 127, some patients might go to Coldwater, some to Sidney and some to Upper Valley.

It happens in big cities a lot. Columbus now has a system that is administered by the Columbus Fire Dispatch center. When it is declared that they are in the “plan," every medic operating in Franklin County must call Columbus Fire Dispatch on a designated talk group and find which hospital they are allowed to take a patient to. With that there is some flexibility usually with level 1 trauma or heart attacks, but at least it’s still in the same county.

In Greenville it could be anywhere including Dayton or Richmond, depending on the part of the county you are in. The 25 hospitals that are a part of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association have devised this plan. The plan breaks the hospitals down into two groups, metro Dayton hospitals and non-metro hospitals such as Wayne in Greenville. The policy sets up criteria for reroute and is careful to advise that one should never say the hospital is closed. An online database of bed availability exists that all hospitals are supposed to keep current so that Emergency Department personnel can look at a glance and tell which hospitals are available to receive patients. The paper also lists which types of emergences can’t be rerouted. All hospitals are supposed to re-assess their situation every two hours to see if they can go off of reroute status.

The plan is pretty all encompassing and has contingencies if more than one hospital in an area needs to reroute. EMS crews have been assigned Home Base hospitals so that when a Rerouting Emergency is declared, they should transport to the alternate hospital. Some Northern Montgomery County EMS crews are assigned to Wayne such as Phillipsburg.

The ride might be a little longer, but the availability of personnel to treat you once you get to definitive care should be better.

You can read the GDAHA Re-route Policy on the internet by clicking here. It’s downloadable as a PDF file.


  1. Wayne has "rerouted" several times I know of because the ICU was not staffed, not due to being overwhelmed, and now since they are a " no triage" ER the beds could be full of very minor stuff that doesn't need to be in a bed, that makes them full and they can take no more cases.
    Very poor management by Wayne's administrators.

  2. As an employee in the birthing center at Wayne we do not re-route our patients. Be as it may someone screwed up from somewhere and re-routed one of our patients that should have been sent to us. People please get the facts straight.

  3. While visiting a friend, I noticed that the 2nd floor is being remodeled. No patients there! All patients are on one floor. So there are limits right now as to how many patients the hospital can have.

  4. I actually love the "no triage" ER. When you have a sick child, you can get right into a room and wait there comfortably, instead of having to wait in the waiting room. We have had to visit twice since the new ER has been in service, and the service we received FAR EXCEEDED the service we have received in the past.

  5. The problem is that people are using the ER as their personal family doctor. Instead of taking non emergency complaints to their family doctor they go to the ER. They do not want to wait a few extra hours for care. Society has developed an "I want it now" mentality.

    I have even heard of people calling an ambulance for things because "I heard you get seen faster if you come in by ambulance." That is a serious waste and abuse of the system. Some day, someone is truly going to suffer because an ambulance is picking up a person with a three week old complaint or a child with an ear ache that they refuse to go to the family doctor for. The ambulance will be unavailable for a true emergency and the ER will be on re-route because of the overflow of these patients who could, and probably should, be seen by a family doctor.

  6. If there was an urgent care center in Greenville, that opened early and stayed open late, people wouldn't be quite as tempted to go to the ER.


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