Know Your ED Call Requirements

On call imageAs a reminder, the Medical Staff Bylaws and Rules and Regulations at both the North Decatur and Hillandale campus set out the obligations of physicians who are on-call for the Emergency Department. Those obligations are a part of the standards established by the Medical Staff in conjunction with hospital leadership to ensure that we are not only providing the best care for the communities we serve, but also ensuring that we remain in compliance with the Emergency Treatment and Active Labor Act (“EMTALA”).

Here are some key points to keep in mind regarding on-call responsibilities and key points on EMTALA:

  • Physicians on call for the ED are required to respond within 30 minutes by calling the ED when paged.
  • Physicians on call for the ED are required to personally come to the ED within 60 minutes when requested to do so by the ED physician.
  • As other area systems have already implemented, the ED now has the capability to record calls and will be recording calls from other hospitals and to on-call physicians effective immediately.
  • If a patient needs to be admitted and a dispute arises over what service should admit, the ER physician will determine the admitting physician and report the dispute the next morning to Administration and the Chief of Staff for review.
  • Hospitals – and the corresponding on-call specialist – are obligated to accept transfers from other facilities if they can provide a service the transferring facility cannot.
  • A failure to respond or admit based on the request of the ER physician may subject the physician to suspension or automatic relinquishment of his/her privileges.

This is intended to be a quick reminder of some key points. We urge you to be familiar with your obligations under the Bylaws and Rules and Regulations and we encourage you to review Article 5 of the Rules and Regulations that sets out some of these items in more detail.  We appreciate your attention and welcome any questions you may have.

For more information, please contact:

Donsha K. Jackson
Department System Coordinator
(404) 501-1848 Phone