CHA News

CHA Emergency Services Forum Discussed Patient Volume, Regulations, and Innovation

What’s happening: CHA hosted the 2024 Emergency Services Forum on May 6 in Newport Beach, California. The forum covered an array of topics, including compliance with legislation, regulating ambulance patient offload time, the impact of recent changes in the behavioral health system on emergency departments (EDs), and a keynote address by RaDonda Vaught, a nurse who was convicted of negligent homicide after accidentally giving a patient the wrong medication.   

What else to know: The forum saw a record attendance of 156 attendees this year, a capacity crowd of professionals and providers from around the state. The gathering provided clarity on laws that affect EDs, previewed upcoming regulations, and provided ED personnel the opportunity to discuss prehospital challenges. Those in attendance said it was a reminder there is a resilient community to lean on.  

Key takeaways include:  

  • Hospitals continue to experience significant patient volume and workforce challenges. The misuse of, and growing dependence on, the 911 system by individuals needing primary care or social support continues to rise. 
  • Prehospital providers are also struggling with volume and workforce demands just like hospitals. Collaboration is the only way to correct and reset the emergency medical services delivery system. 
  • Both prehospital and hospital providers agree that now is the time for innovation. There is a need to seek out ways to make the health care delivery system adaptable and sustainable.  
  • Hospitals need to get their Assembly Bill (AB) 40 ambulance patient offload time reduction protocols to the California Emergency Medical Services Authority by Sept. 1. CHA asks that hospitals continue to work with their local emergency medical services agencies as they implement AB 40, with a goal that helpful community standards may be used to inform statewide policy.  
  • Closing keynote speaker RaDonda Vaught shared her profoundly personal story. Vaught is the former Vanderbilt University Medical Center nurse convicted of negligent homicide after a medication error killed a patient. Vaught spoke of the impact this event had on her life and her profession, along with the implications of the legal actions that followed.