Where will Atlanta Medical Center patients, employees go?

·2 min read

The announcement that WellStar plans to shut down Atlanta Medical Center is having an impact on other area hospitals that are already pushed to the brink.

Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston talked with Grady about the impact on them and what we know about what will happen to AMC’s staff.

Since the hospital announced that they will shut down on Nov. 1, patients and employees have both been concerned about where they’ll end up.

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In a letter to employees, hospital officials said that after spending more than $350 million in six years, the hospital just wasn’t sustainable.

WellStar said they are committed to finding a new place for their patients at other hospitals. Officials said they will also move staff to other WellStar facilities.

Huddleston talked to some AMC staff members, who said there has been a lot of crying, and many employees are angry about the decision.

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For other metro Atlanta hospitals that are already struggling to keep up with patient volume, taking in patients who would otherwise go to AMC will be a challenge. John Haupert, the President and CEO of Grady Health Systems, said his staff will have to pick up the majority of AMC’s emergency room visitors when they are already pushed to the limit.

“Our ER is fully staffed and running, but there’s only so many patients you can see in a day,” Haupert said. “What I’m worried about, to be honest, about the closure of AMC is that so many of those established relationships that patients have with a physician or a provider are going to be incredibly disrupted.”

Haupert said Grady already sees 154,000 patients a year and they expect to take on more than half of AMC’s 55,000 patients. Haupert said he is concerned about people who use the emergency room for things that aren’t critical, like blood pressure checks or stomach pain.

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“They will be assessed in the ER, but when it’s determined that it’s a lower level type of care that’s needed in an urgent care environment, they are taken to the urgent care center, and seen there,” Haupert said. “And that way we can decompress.”

Haupert said the hospital hopes to have a plan in place next week for how to handle more patients.

This is not the first emergency room that WellStar has shut down. They have recently shuttered their East Point ER. People who live in the south metro area like Adrienne Young are worried.

“That was one of the places I would go, especially if I had an emergency,”