At emergency rooms across central Indiana, “No Vacancy” signs are flashing at unprecedented rates. Emergency rooms are often overflowing with patients, prompting hospitals to divert ambulances to other hospitals for hours at a stretch, provided the cases aren’t life-threatening. On July 26, for example, at least 10 large hospitals in central Indiana went on diversion at some point, causing ambulance drivers to look high and low for a place to take their patients.
In the latest edition of the IBJ Podcast, reporter John Russell explains that this is the latest indication that local and area hospitals are struggling with a growing nursing shortage and, to a lesser extent, that the pandemic is roaring back to life.
Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to pin hospitals down on just how often this has been happening. No federal or state agency tracks ambulance diversions or requires the hospitals to report it, so the fine details are closely guarded secrets.
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