A statement sent out by the Indiana Hospital Association says as of Thursday January 13, 2022, hospitals across Northwest Indiana have collaborated and will no longer go on bypass until otherwise indicated. Bypass, or ‘diversion,’ happens when hospitals reach capacity, prompting Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to take patients to alternative facilities. The announcement said, “The hospitals of Community Healthcare System, Franciscan Health, Methodist Hospitals and Northwest Health are joining forces to create processes to ensure residents of our community have access to emergency services” noting the move is in response to the chronic high-volume conditions emergency rooms are experiencing across the nation and the Region. The unprecedented number of COVID-19 cases requiring emergency care exacerbates this situation, the hospitals said, and the decision is supported by the Indiana Department of Health and the Indiana Hospital Association.
“The Indiana Hospital Association applauds the cooperation among Northwest Indiana hospitals to work together for the benefit of the community,” said Brian Tabor, president of the organization. “Indiana hospitals are overwhelmed with the highest number of patients on record and have reached a state of crisis with dwindling capacity left to care for patients. Our emergency departments are seeing 8,500-10,000 visits per day, and at any given point there are several hundred patients boarding in emergency departments around the state awaiting open beds.”
To reduce the strain on healthcare workers, the news release also said hospitals need the community to help by not visiting emergency departments for COVID-19 testing and to visit one of the numerous immediate care centers or testing sites throughout Northwest Indiana. Here is the link to Indiana’s COVID-19 dashboard to find testing sites — coronavirus.in.gov/covid-19-testing-information .