« Moving back to Hyde Park | Main | Tour de France riders suspended »

Chicago EMS triage

In Denver (unless things have changed), the paramedics decide on scene where to transport a patient, and then they call their chosen hospital to let them know they're enroute.

In Chicago, the paramedics don't determine their own destination. Instead, they call their "resource hospital" (U of C, Illinois Masonic, or Northwestern) and the nurse or doc at that hospital decides where the ambulance will take the patient.

Which system is better? One complaint that's been made about the Chicago system is that the resource hospital appears to have a conflict of interest. The resource hospital doc may often have to decide whether to send a patient to her own hospital when she's stressing because her ED is so busy.

As a colleague of mine put it: "I don't see that it adds anything when the doc, and not the paramedic, makes the destination decision."

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)