Since the pilot, ED diversions hours in King County have remained between 11 and zero per month. What was the norm is no longer the norm. “Everybody has stepped up to bat. We made it through the 90 days, there’s no reason we can’t keep it up,” says Owens. At a meeting held two weeks after the pilot project officially ended, participants described their operations as continuing as if the pilot had never really ended, even with nobody being forced to continue.
Graves said the Swedish system intends to remain at zero-divert. “Our commitment is to our community, and keeping access open to all patients is one way we can deliver on this commitment to excellence. I can say that at all levels of the organization, we are aligned and intend to remain divert-free,” she says.
At Virginia Mason, Mow says, “The zero-divert pilot has actually enhanced our ability to identify our flow needs and make improvement. We learned that ED flow is predictable. We can plan for discharge on arrival to the ED. Now, we anticipate what resources are needed and when so we can prepare for the unexpected.”
Carlbom says it's all a matter of focusing on the positives: “No matter how bad it gets, it’s never as bad as it could be. You may think it’s the worst situation possible, but it never really is.”
Hartley says this successful pilot and the ongoing effort to remain diversion-free means “Zero diversion saves lives, saves money, improves EMS status and improves hospital status.”