As record numbers of patients flood the John Peter Smith Hospital Emergency Department, JPS Health Network leaders have, for the second time in a month, declared a Code Yellow emergency situation.
“We are on pace to see 10,750 patients this month,” said Jesse DeWaard, Executive Director of Emergency Management Services at JPS. “This would be the most ever. Our biggest number of visits in one day stands at 427. In addition, our Psychiatric Emergency Center is seeing record numbers.”
The JPS Emergency Department has 56 patient care rooms. Typically, each day 80-100 people are admitted to the hospital and 65 Behavioral Health patients are seen by Emergency Department personnel, according to DeWaard.
The National Emergency Department Overcrowding Scale (NEDOCS) uses a formula including factors such as the number of admissions, hospital beds available, boarding times and wait times to determine how stressed hospital resources are. A score of 0-50 is considered to be “normal,” 51-100 is “busy,” 101-140 is “overcrowded,” 141-180 is “severe” and above 180 is “disaster.”
The JPS Emergency Department’s score Tuesday afternoon was 298. By comparison, none of the other hospitals in the Fort Worth area currently has a NEDOCS score higher than 80. “
That’s squarely in disaster mode, and things are going to get worse,” said Lance Lynch, Director of Emergency Management at JPS. “Holidays are usually a lighter time in the hospital, it’s the days immediately after the holiday when we see the number of people who come in start to increase. So, as we move past Memorial Day weekend, we’re likely to see our numbers rise even more.”