Cooperating for better care.

Jay A. Kaplan

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Marketing bigger and quieter ERs


Hospitals are increasingly investing in emergency rooms, trying to make them as comfortable and attractive as possible to snare new patients.

Boston-based for-profit Steward Health Care System, for instance, has opened up a new $25 million emergency department at Morton Hospital, in Taunton, Mass., with 43 private rooms, doubling the size of the old department and making care a lot quieter.

A Boston Globe reporter, on a recent visit, found that the “larger space, designed to give the caregivers more room to work and patients more privacy, concealed that the department….was actually pretty full.”

“The project is the fifth emergency department redesign at hospitals owned by …{Steward} and part of a strategy by Steward and other providers not only to improve emergency services, but also to respond to the competition for patients from other hospitals and new rivals such as urgent care centers,” The Globe reported.

“Emergency departments are the front door to the hospital,”  Jay A. Kaplan, M.D., president-elect of the American College of Emergency Physicians, told the paper: “[Patients’] impression in the emergency department is going to affect how they perceive their entire hospital stay.”

“The upgrades are part of Steward’s efforts to attract more patients to community hospitals rather than lose them to larger and more expensive teaching hospitals, ” of which they are plenty in Greater Boston.



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