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Blessing officials discuss how hospital transfers from larger cities impact capacity

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -- Local hospitals, such as Blessing Hospital in Quincy are helping other hospitals with patients they don't have room for.

This is happening with patients from the St. Louis area potentially being moved to the Tri-States.

Doctors at Blessing said they meet with hospitals from hundreds of miles away twice a day to make sure there's room for you if you need a hospital bed.

Blessing Health System Chief of Medicine Dr. Chris Solaro said when a patient is in need and they have space, they have to take them.

"We have not been in a situation where we've had to transfer a patient out of blessing hospital elsewhere, because of lack of capacity," said Dr. Solaro, "but we have been in situations where we haven't been able to accept patients from outside hospitals requests to come to blessing because we may not have the capacity to handle those folks."

He said recently, they did accept one of those patients though

"This was a patient who was in the emergency department of a St. Louis area hospital who needed a critical care level of care, and they had nowhere closer to send that patient because everywhere else was full so they reached out to blessing, and we were able to take that patient," said Dr. Solaro.

He said this is only happens when blessing can take care of that person.

Adams County EMS Chief and Emergency Management Director John Simon said that's something other hospitals do for patients at Blessing as well.

"We routinely move patients from Blessing hospital, [and] other hospitals across the entire region as needed depending upon the either the care that [the patient] needs at other facilities," said Simon.

Dr. Solaro said the best thing you can do to help with their planning is good COVID-19 practices.

"It always goes back to the best way to avoid demands on resources is to prevent on this and so the community can take all the steps that we talked about to prevent illness, and then that'll decrease demand," said Dr. Solaro.

He said if you have a medical emergency however, don't hesitate to come to the hospital first.

Simon said Adams County EMS isn't typically involved in moving patients from places like St. Louis to hospitals locally.

He said that transfers are a complicated situation with many things to consider, and need to be evaluated individually.

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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