Thursday, February 9, 2012

Harlem Hospital Puts ER Patients on the Fast Track

Harlem Hospital Puts ER Patients on the Fast Track

February 9, 2012 7:26am | By Jeff Mays, DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

Harlem Hospital Executive Director Denise Soares talks to staff in the hospital's new Fast Track unit which allows visitors to the emergency room with non-emergent problems to be seen quicker. (DNAinfo/Jeff Mays)

HARLEM—After often waiting more than 2 1/2 hours to see a doctor at Harlem Hospital's emergency room, many of the medical center's patients leave without being seen.

Those who remain are simply angry, and often take it out on the staff.

So when Executive Director Denise Soares announced a plan to create a Fast Track unit that would allow patients with non-emergency illnesses and injuries to be seen quickly, nurses at the hospital happily agreed to move their lounge to a smaller space to accommodate the effort.

"The nurses figured it was better for the patients who were not happy about having to wait long hours to see a doctor," said Rhea Morris, deputy director of nursing at the hospital.

After a three-week trial run, Soares, who said the idea came from conversations with emergency room staff, snipped the ribbon on the former lounge Wednesday, declaring that the Fast Track unit was here to stay.

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