ONEIDA — On Monday afternoon, Oneida Health informed local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the Department of Health (DOH) that its emergency room would be going on diversion. Diversion is a temporary countermeasure that hospitals can activate to minimize the number of high acuity patients that may arrive by ambulance while they are experiencing an unusually high number of patients. The hospital’s emergency room is still able to provide care to walk-in patients during an ambulance diversion.
“Due to the timing of a high hospital inpatient census and a large number of emergency room patients requiring inpatient care this afternoon, our management team and medical staff identified the need to go on temporary diversion,” said Gene Morreale, President and CEO at Oneida Health. “This strategy will aid us in the reallocation of staff resources to manage our current high census while still maintaining the high level of care our patients have come to expect.”
In an effort to meet their current staffing needs, Oneida Health has canceled some of its elective procedures in its Ambulatory Surgery Center, Operating Room, and Endoscopy Center for Tuesday and Wednesday. “Our medical staff has identified elective procedures that could be delayed to a future date in order to increase the number of staffing resources available to other units during this brief time,” said Morreale. “Though this may inconvenience some, the safety of our patients remains our top priority while not overwhelming our talented staff.”
Oneida Health anticipated that the diversion would be removed sometime later Monday.
“We do not anticipate it will be long before we eliminate the ambulance diversion from our emergency department,” said Mr. Morreale. “Our management team and medical staff are well trained for these types of events to ensure we are always well positioned to resolve them quickly while meeting the needs of our communities. We appreciate the collaboration of our local EMS teams and area hospitals who are able to help accommodate patients during this brief time. In addition to our staff who have been very responsive in picking up extra hours or coming in on their normal day off.”