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Trying to address overcrowding at a big E.D.

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In what might or might not be some useful ideas for other big urban hospitals, two New York officials have released a report on overcrowding in the emergency department of huge and prestigious New York Presbyterian Hospital, in  northern Manhattan.

Federal healthcare regulators said 5 percent of the hospital’s E.D. patients leave before  medical professionals see them — compared with the national average of 2 percent. That might not seem like  much of a difference, but given  the huge population that runs through Presbyterian, it means a lot of untreated and/or irritated customers. Of course, given the location, a lot of these patients have no insurance and chronic illness. They’re heavy duty.

Among the suggested improvements: increased staffing, improved patient privacy, ”better access to urgent-care centers, and inclusive partnerships with community health providers and professionals,” reports WCBS. It should be noted that some politicians pushing these reforms see Presbyterian as an opportunity to create more local jobs, for which the politicians would take credit.

We at CMG have been in that E.D. (or E.R. as we instinctively first call it as pushback to certain commercials on TV)  and so suspect that many, perhaps a majority, of patients there would do better going to urgent-care facilities, including  Federally Qualified Health Centers, if there were enough of them. And most need patient-centered medical homes.




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