Council Connect Articles

Ambulance Patient Offload Times; Receiving Hospital Standards and Diversion


  • Hospital Council
  • Local Emergency Medical Services Agency (EMSA) 
  • San Francisco Fire Department
  • Ambulance providers
  • Department of Health


San Francisco’s EMSA distributed draft policies on ambulance patient offload times (APOT), receiving hospital standards, and diversion that would cause immediate and adverse impacts to hospital emergency departments and operations overall. Driven primarily by the fire department, these changes would include penalties for missing APOT benchmarks, including decertification. Hospital Council provided comment, strongly encouraging a multi-stakeholder process that will facilitate a root cause analysis to inform effective policy. In a positive turn, the fire department agreed that a more thoughtful, comprehensive discussion was warranted.  

Takeaway/Next Steps

The section will remain engaged to facilitate discussions between the local EMSA, other local agencies, and the hospitals as these policies are further considered. All the system hospitals and Zuckerberg San Francisco General are in agreement about a more measured and substantive approach