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Doctor decides urgent patient can wait

Another story by user u/smarie0206 reminded me of this call. I used to work for a transfer call center. We did transfers for hospitals. We got urgent/critical calls on a fairly regular basis and had a system set up to make these calls go as quickly as possible. One day close to my quitting time an IM comes across with a request to set up transportation for an urgent call. Quick aside: Certain cities have a higher than average usage of ems companies, especially in the northeast area. I reach out to the six or so ems companies and am told that they don’t have any availability to pick up an urgent call (fifteen minutes from call to ems arriving at hospital). As protocol dictates I inform the hospital that they too need to try and get ems set up, as it becomes whoever gets there first wins so to speak at that point. I speak to one ems company and realize that there is missing information in the call log. I call the hospital and ask to speak with someone to gather this information. I have the ems operator on hold so I can connect them with the doctor. I explain to the doctor the situation and ask if he’s willing to connect with the operator to give the pertinent information. The doctor agrees and I introduce the doctor to ems. Dialogue is approximate as this happened over a year ago.

Me: Doctor, you are connected with EMS.

EMS: Hello Doctor, I need to know what drips and equipment this patient is on.

Doctor: Doctor jargon explaining what the patient is on.

EMS: Alright, thanks for that information. It’s going to be about 5 hours until we are able to pick up the patient.

Doctor: Oh, that’s fine.

EMS (who says with utter shock in his voice): Are you sure? This is the patient having a [super serious health issue], correct….and you want to wait five hours for transportation?

Doctor: Yes, and five hours is fine.

Before I can click off of being muted, as I was taking notes of the call, they both hang up. I make sure to document that the doctor said it was okay to wait, as the hospitals can and often do get the call notes for their own paperwork. Now as a quick note, since I have no medical background I can not tell a doctor or nurse that I think they are wrong. I know that if this patient waits five hours for transfer they will die. I continue down the list of ems and receive mostly the same thing, they have no availability. I keep up with calling the hospital and speak with the nurse taking care of that patient and explain that I have transport set up but it’s a five hour wait. Thankfully the nurse has been able to get a faster transport. I connect nurses and turn over the call to a coworker so I can go home twenty minutes after I should be off. When I checked the call the next time I worked the patient arrived to the other hospital in about thirty minutes after I transferred the call to my coworker. I never spoke to that doctor again, though it’s a large hospital so that might just be coincidence and not due to him being fired.

submitted by /u/Logical_like_Spock
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