City ERs Undergo Triage

Messina, Judith
October 2003
Crain's New York Business;10/27/2003, Vol. 19 Issue 43, p23
Joseph S. Orlando, chief executive of Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, New York, had no particular plans to upgrade hospital's emergency room-until he found himself a patient there. Like Jacobi, hospitals all over the city are scrambling to make their emergency rooms more patient-friendly. The efforts are more than exercises in modernization. For most hospitals, the emergency department is a major entry point for inpatients. Emergency room (ER) is a potential source of future business. A favorable experience in the ER can keep a patient coming back not only for emergencies, but also for routine care. ER patients, many of whom are uninsured and end up costing the hospitals money, often compete with paying patients for beds and other resources. In New York City where uninsured and low-income patients tend to use ERs as their primary care clinics, there were 3.4 million ER visits in 2001, up 12.4% since 1990, according to the Greater New York Hospital Association.


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