Sunday, January 22, 2006

"No Wait" ER's

From the NY Times:

It had all the markings of a typical emergency department waiting room: magazines scattered on end tables; a wall-mounted television; more than two dozen institutional chairs lining the walls.

Only the people were missing. On a recent weekday afternoon, the waiting room at the Hudson Valley Hospital Center here was empty. The hospital has adopted a no-wait emergency room procedure. A recent $1 million renovation eliminated the registration desk. A greeter now sends patients to one of three triage rooms. Insurance information is taken at bedside. The department is split into two zones: fast track, for minor injuries and illnesses treatable by nurse practitioners, and critical care.

"Nobody wants to wait for anything anymore," said Dr. Raymond Iannaccone, director of the emergency department. "We have to focus on clinical care, but no-wait is also good medical care."


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