The president of a hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, on Friday asked members of the community to avoid the ED unless it was absolutely critical because the facility had been at capacity for nine days.
According to Mission Hospital President Jill Hoggard Green, the number of patients using hospital services was been on the rise since Feb. 20. Hoggard Green did not know the cause of the surge.
Hoggard Green said patients who are critically ill and trauma patients should still come to the ED, but those who are not as sick should first seek care at a primary care physician's office or urgent care center. She noted that any patient who came to the ED will be seen, though wait times was likely longer than normal.
In a statement, the hospital said, "We will continue to implement action plans to assure that we have the staffing we need to meet this continuing challenge." Among other steps, the hospital extended hours at primary care practices.
On Monday, officials at the hospital announced that the volumes had returned to normal and area residents could resume normal ED use. "The [ED] remains open and is ready to serve patients and thanks to the assistance of our community and care providers and partners, our volume is currently the lowest it has been in nearly two weeks," said spokesperson Jerri Jameson (Ostendorff, Citizen-Times, 3/7; AP/Greensboro News & Record, 3/7; WYFF, 3/7; Barrett, Citizen-Times, 3/9).
A clockwork ED
This three-part series examines best practices for optimizing capacity and throughput in the emergency department. The framework for analysis focuses on four major areas:
- Maximizing resource allocation;
- Reducing time to doctor;
- Promoting bed visibility; and
- Leveraging data and technology.