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Coney Island Hospital revamps emergency room care

Brooklyn Daily
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This hospital is on the mend.

Coney Island Hospital has dramatically transformed the way it runs its emergency department and the way it cares for patients, and is now working hard to rebuild its reputation in the wake of a string of controversies, according to a hospital rep touting the reforms at a Community Board 15 meeting on Dec. 19.

“I can tell you, it’s not the hospital it used to be,” said Pat Roman, to applause from the crowd.

The city ousted the hospital’s leadership in 2016 after a patient died when emergency room staff allegedly mistook a serious illness for a bad reaction to synthetic marijuana. And an investigation by the city that same year found that the hospital had hired 450 people, mostly nurses, without proper authorization.

Then a former doctor at the hospital slammed its patient care and supervision, saying it endangered kids, in an anonymous interview with the Post.

But the hospital’s new leadership was determined to right their course, and implement aggressive reforms in early 2017, starting with requiring hospital staff to meet with patients immediately in the emergency room, as opposed to having the patients wait.

“We’ve greatly improved our ER flow. You no longer have to wait in a room. You triage with a nurse,” said Roman. “You used to have to wait on a line for triage. Now the patient is seen immediately.”

The hospital also expanded its weekend and night hours, added a concierge, started using iPads to better communicate with deaf and non-English speaking patients, and began assigning teams of patient representatives and nurses to each patient, Roman said, adding that it has also hired many new doctors.

Some in the community say they have noticed that the hospital is improving. Community Board 15 chairwoman Theresa Scavo said the hospital has moved on from its past of long wait times in the emergency rooms.

“You’re in and out quickly, you no longer have to wait hours,” she said. “I think the hospital is definitely heading in the right direction.”

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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