As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health is taking proactive steps to continue to deliver high-quality care.
We understand that care and transport by EMS present unique challenges because of the need for rapid medical decision-making, interventions with limited information and a varying range of patient acuity. Ongoing communication between EMS agencies and LG Health is extremely important during this evolving situation.
When preparing for and responding to patients with confirmed or possible COVID-19, close coordination and effective communications are important among EMS agencies and Lancaster General Health.
Notification, Transport and Screening Process
Please review the attached document that outlines the EMS patient screening process that is to occur prior to arrival at Lancaster General Hospital or Women & Babies Hospital. The document includes the proper precautions your team member are to take if a patient has a positive COVID-19 screening. A positive COVID-19 screening means that the patient has an exposure history and signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. PLEASE DISTRIBUTE TO EMS PERSONNEL AS NECESSARY.
If a patient who has a positive COVID-19 screening requires transport to a health-care facility for further evaluation and management, the following actions must occur during transport:
- A mask is to be placed on the patient and the EMS personnel are to use PPE.
- Depending on the patient’s specific situation, EMS personnel may need to notify Medical Command.
- Based on direction from Medical Command, patients may be transported to an alternative destination.
- EMS must notify the LGH Emergency Communications Center or Medical Command that a patient with a positive COVID-19 screening is being transported to LGH so appropriate infection control precautions are taken prior to patient arrival.
- All directions given by LGH personnel for transfer of the patient into LGH are to be followed.
- To limit exposure, regardless of patient complaint or screening result, no family members will be transported by EMS unless the patient is age 14 or younger, or other extenuating circumstances are present. Any passenger who accompanies the ambulance will be screened at the main ED entrance prior to being allowed to accompany the patient into the ED. Based on screening results, the passenger may not be granted entrance to the hospital.
Documentation of Patient Care
- To reduce exposure, documentation of patient care should be done after EMS personnel have completed the transport, removed PPE and performed hand hygiene.
- Written documentation is to be consistent with the verbal communication given to the ED at the time the patient was transferred.
- EMS documentation must include a listing of EMS, first responders and public safety providers involved in the response and the level of contact with the patient.
Updated information will be posted at LGHealth.org/EMS as it becomes available. If your agency has questions, please contact Brian Casson at
The challenges we face are highlighting the very best of our community and together we will make a difference. Thank you for all that you are doing.
Contacts for Questions
Brian Casson, Manager, EMS Outreach Prevention and Education
Dr. Michael Reihart, EMS Medical Director
Carla Leed, Administrative Director, Emergency Department & Trauma