I'm curious to know some of the things your patients call the ambulance for. Just recently we've had patients who present to the ED via EMS and c/o ripped cuticle
, or a med refill
, along with many more complaints that, in my opinion, absolutely do not justify the need for emergency medical services. The worst one lately, though, was a patient who presented to the ED and when getting off the stretcher, stated that they just needed a ride to this side of town to get to their friend's house
and simply walked out the EMS bay doors. I was flabbergasted.
What inane EMS runs have you experienced?
Jan 27, '14
I think that a couple things need to happen.
1) If a person such as the one in the OP's post calls an ambulance to "get to the other side of town" and then leaves the ED, they should also have the joy of paying the bill of the aptly named cab-ulance! The police should also be called to charge the passenger with misuse of the emergency call system!
2) If a patient routinely calls the "cab-ulance" for NON emergent complaints such as a torn cuticle, a med refill, a splinter, etc. Lets call it non-urgent/emergent, not disabling/debilitating or in need of hospital admission to take care of the complaint, then they should be counseled on what constitutes an emergency requiring an ambulance on the first use of the ride. On the second and each subsequent use of the cab-ulance, they should be required to pay the bill (not insurance or Medicaid) and if it becomes a chronic problem they should be charged with misuse of the emergency call system.
It really irks me when people call the ambulance for petty reasons because it ties up the 9-1-1 lines for emergency calls, and also ties up EMTs and ambulances for real emergencies. We all know these people just call the ambulance because they know that going in the ambulance gets you past the waiting room and triage, and in most cases these are the people who are using Medicaid to cover their visit anyways. If the person had a large co-pay for ambulance transportation they would be less likely to use it unless they absolutely needed to!
I really think that if a person comes by way of ambulance and is not in need of the "back door entry", they should be made to wait just like the people who walk into the waiting room. Wouldn't it be nice if instead of putting them in the hall, we could put them in the waiting room instead?!?
With that said, there has been a time when I was in a small community hospital without real specialized care, and needed to be transferred to a trauma center about 50 miles away but the community hospital couldn't arrange the transfer because both hospitals were of the same acuity for insurance. I was discharged from one and was driven to a friends house by the trauma center where we called EMS to transport me the rest of the way because I was unable to go in through the waiting room (I was laying down the whole time because I couldn't sit up due to a CSF leak causing a severe spinal headache). The EMTs took me to the ED and I was admitted immediately to have a neurosurgeon who specialized in CSF leaks do a repair. All that is to say, I understand the RARE need to go from one hospital to another, but only when one is able to offer a service/treatment that the first was incapable of performing.
Last edit by wheeliesurfer on Jan 27, '14