Atlanta Medical Center enters final steps before closing; ER closing Oct. 14

Wellstar stated to the AJC in statements that the AMC admitted fewer patients to a bed since the closing plans were announced. From a hospital that admitted just 200 patients a week,It now has less than 100. Wellstar expects to have fewer than 50 patients by the weekend. By Nov. 1, any remaining patients will either be discharged from Wellstar or transferred to another facility.

Patients with poorer or uninsured status

AMC’s emergency room has long been crucial for that hospital’s users. Wellstar reported that 70% of patients admitted to the hospital were admitted through the ER instead of being admitted by their doctor or specialist. That is significant because many of those patients aren’t getting preliminary care from their own doctors, but are instead finding ailments worsen and become emergencies needing ER attention.

That’s partly because many of AMC’s patients are less affluent than most of the patients at other hospitals, with many lacking insurance, According to documents filed with federal and state governments by Wellstar, and other health systems. It is difficult to connect these patients to care.

Patients who show up at AMC until Friday can still be treated. And though ambulances are asked to divert away from AMC, if one shows up anyway, AMC’s doctors and nurses will take care of that patient, said Wellstar Health System Chief Nurse Executive Jill Case-Wirth.

“After Friday, we would no longer be accepting patients at that site,”She spoke.

“We have put a plan in place to have a standby transport vehicle there in the event that we need to transport a patient to another site to get the care that they need,”She spoke. “Our whole goal is that we’ve done enough public awareness and planning so that patients and EMS know not to come to that emergency room after 7 a.m. on the 14th.”

From nurses and doctors to mayors, people Some people reported being shocked by the announcement of closure. Some doctors who work with AMC say they’ve been given no help transferring their patients to other providers.

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Wellstar’s public relations officials say they are in the process of mailing out advisory postcards to every household within a five-mile radius: More than 200,000 of them, Friday or the day before. A bundle of flyers, posters, postcards and posters has been prepared by the hospital system for each of the 115 community organizations that will be participating in this week’s event.

Wellstar also indicated that it is working with Mercy Care to connect patients in the Atlanta area to the charity clinic. This includes advising them how to locate the clinic and walking in. Mercy Care officials confirmed Tuesday they had been in touch with Wellstar. They indicated that they were expecting to meet this week with Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens to discuss the issue.

As for serious ER care and trauma, Wellstar’s Case-Wirth cited Grady Memorial Hospital, the only other Level I trauma center in metro Atlanta. Grady has started adding beds to replace the 200 AMC-managed staffed beds. Grady spokesperson said that 41 new beds will be available by the end this week.

“Grady is less than two miles away as a level one trauma center,”Case-Wirth. “And there are five other hospitals within, I believe, a seven-mile radius, that emergency care can be delivered. They’re open and we believe that they’ve got capacity for them.”


AMC TIMELINE

Aug. 31: Wellstar announces AMC Closure

Oct. 4:AMC ER continues “permanent diversion”To ambulances

Nov. 1:AMC to close


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