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New Agreement: Hospitals Can Not Turn Away Ambulances if ER is Full

A new agreement between hospitals means no ambulances can be turned away if an emergency room is full.

Let's say you're a heart patient with all of your doctors here at Aurora, now you can choose to go to your hospital of choice.

In the past emergency rooms that were at full capacity would tell ambulances to take a patient to another hospital.

But hospitals in Milwaukee County came together and made an agreement to no longer divert first responders.

Hospitals since last year were adding beds and looking at staffing, and processes to get their ER's ready for the change.

CBS 58 spoke to Rick Kellar at Aurora West Allis, who says the change over is going smooth.

"We've looked at our processes across all our institutions in aurora and we've had five months of no diversion experience now, it's actually gone quite well," said Kellar.

For Scott Mickelsen at Bell Ambulance, driving a patient to the emergency room wasn't always as easy as driving from point A to B.

"It would cause longer transport times if we were near a hospital a patient wanted to be seen at but they were diverting ambulances," said Scott Mickelsen, Deputy Operations Management Bell Ambulance.

In the past emergency rooms that were at full capacity would tell ambulances to take a patient to another hospital to catch up on case loads.

But hospitals across the Milwaukee County area got together and made an agreement to no longer divert first responders, a relief to Mickelsen.

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