Ethics Talk: The Massachusetts Ban on Ambulance Diversion


Over the past decade there have been numerous stories about overcrowded ERs. One way many communities addressed such overcrowding was to divert ambulances away from overcrowded hospitals to less busy ones that had available room and resources to treat patients. In Jan 2009, Massachusetts became first state to successfully ban the practice of ambulance diversion. Virtual Mentor spoke with Dr. Stephen Epstein of Harvard Medical School about the Massachusetts ban and what other communities can learn from one state's experience.