Care Health

Prioritize Healthy life

University of Kansas Health System St. Francis accepts ambulances after disaster diversion

University of Kansas Health System St. Francis accepts ambulances after disaster diversion

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis returned to disaster diversion while Stormont Vail Health provided resources available to patients for assessing care options.

Stormont Vail Health officials said in a media release that they received notice Thursday morning, Dec. 14 that the University of Kansas Health System St. Francis, operated by Ardent Health Systems, had electronic systems shut down and returned to disaster diversion, which meant they stopped accepting ambulances to its Emergency Department and all emergencies via ambulance were routed to Stormont Vail Health. Later this afternoon, Stormont Vail Health was informed that St. Francis returned to taking every other ambulance.

“The changing nature of this situation makes it difficult to be prepared for fluctuating patient volumes, but we are doing our best to staff up and be prepared to care for community,” said Dr. Rob Kenagy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Stormont Vail Health. “We want to assure the community that we are here for them, and we are working to get patients to the right care setting.”

Stormont Vail Health officials indicated because of increased patient volumes, the Stormont Vail team has made adjustments to ensure patients and community members will receive timely and appropriate care. Because of this situation, it is critical to encourage and educate those seeking Stormont Vail Health medical assistance to use medical resources available as appropriate. The following information may assist in accessing medical care through Stormont Vail until St. Francis/Ardent returns to normal status.

  • Stormont Vail Health officials said patients can call their Stormont Vail/Cotton O’Neil primary care doctor or send a non-emergent message through MyChart.
  • Individuals who are needing assistance during after hours with non-emergent medical conditions, such as guidance on specific symptoms or appropriate location for care, can call the nurse triage program through Stormont Vail’s Health Connections. The trained nurses can be reached at (785) 354-5225 from 4:30 p.m. to 8 a.m. Monday through Friday and around the clock on weekends and holidays.
  • Cotton O’Neil Express Care urgent clinics are open to those in the Topeka area for patients needing to be seen for medical conditions that need quick treatment when you cannot see your own physician, but are not life-threatening emergencies, including:
    • High fever
    • Persistent diarrhea or vomiting
    • Ear pain
    • Painful urination
    • Fractures, strains and sprains
    • A deep cut that needs stitches
    • Infections
    • Skin rashes
    • Back pain
    • A mild burn
    • X-ray
    • Lab

Officials with Stormont Vail Health said Express Care clinics are open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

  • Cotton O’Neil North Clinic, 4505 N.W. Fielding Road
  • Cotton O’Neil Urish Clinic, 6725 S.W. 29th Street
  • Cotton O’Neil Croco Clinic, 2909 S.E. Walnut Drive
  • Stormont Vail Midtown Clinic, 1516 S.W. 6th Avenue

For emergencies, please go to the Emergency Department. The Stormont Vail Emergency Department in Topeka is open 24 hours daily.

The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis said last week, they restored key clinical and business systems, including their Epic electronic medical record platform. Early on Thursday, Dec. 14, as part of the ongoing restoration process, they experienced intermittent issues that have since been resolved. While unfortunate, occasional connectivity issues are an expected part of the restoration process as they bring additional systems back online. Patient care was not impacted and their IT teams continue working quickly to address any issues as they arise.

St. Francis officials said while they briefly adjusted their divert status on Thursday, Dec. 14, their emergency room is again accepting patients by ambulance. Additionally, their clinics remain open and they have resumed all non-emergent surgeries. They continue to safely care for patients as they make progress in restoring access to all systems with new applications coming back online daily. While this process will take time, they look forward to sharing more progress soon.