Nebraska’s restarted hospital transfer system sees complaints


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Health officials file complaints about a reopened transfer center meant to help Nebraska hospitals find places to send patients who need additional care as COVID-19 cases have increased in recent weeks.

Officials at Lincoln’s Bryan Health and small hospitals across the state have complained that the transfer center has not proved useful in recent cases where very ill patients have to go to a larger hospital, the transfer center reported. Lincoln Journal Star. In some cases, hospital staff have said they received no help from the system and instead had to make numerous calls on their own to find an intensive care bed.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts announced earlier this month the restart of the transfer center, a 24-hour call center intended to serve as a coordinator for state hospitals in an attempt to prevent them from be overwhelmed.

The transfer center was first used last year and was considered a success. But that center mainly focused on finding beds for COVID-19 patients and was managed by CHI Health. The new version is being managed by Nomi Health, the Utah-based company that conducted COVID-19 testing operations for the state until early summer. The restarted system attempts to find beds for any patient requiring more intensive care.

Last week, during a press briefing, a Bryan Health official said the new transfer center had not come in handy.

Dr Pete Lueninghoener, a family doctor in the small town of O’Neill in north-central Nebraska, also recounted two recent cases in which the transfer center has been of little help. In one, calls to the transfer center from a patient with a perforated bowel went unanswered. Staff ended up making nearly a dozen calls themselves to find an available intensive care bed and surgeon, Lueninghoener said.

In the second case, Lueninghoener said staff at O’Neill Hospital called the transfer center to try to find a larger hospital for a COVID-19 patient who needed more specialized care. Lueninghoener said someone answered the phone that time but had no idea where O’Neill was.

“I felt like it was definitely not located in our state, and there was a good possibility that it was not even located in our country,” said Lueninghoener.

Chief medical officer Dr Gary Anthone said he was aware of concerns about the transfer center. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement Wednesday that a task force made up of coalitions, institutions, subject matter experts, NOMI and DHHS had been formed to “respond to needs and feedback with the transfer center as well as to improve standard operating procedures. for future operations.

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