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Methodist Hospital beefs up staff amid ER concerns

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New York Methodist Hospital says it will hire new pediatric nurse practitioners and treat patients faster in its emergency rooms amid an online outcry from some Park Slope residents.

In January, the Seventh Avenue hospital will hire three new pediatric nurse practitioners to expedite patients’ treatments, Robert Van Amerongen, the hospital’s chief of pediatric emergency medicine, told The Brooklyn Paper.

In addition, ER workers will be better trained to alert nurses if the condition of someone in the waiting room is worsening, added Mia Scaramuzzino, the director of nursing for emergency services.

Both changes come in response to more than a dozen comments posted on the Park Slope Parents Web site. The posters claimed that the hospital’s emergency rooms, which have treated 70,000 patients so far this year, make patients wait for hours, even if a patient’s condition is declining.

“I wouldn’t go back to that place on a bet,” posted one Park Slope Parents member. “Unfortunat­ely, if you are unconscious, it is the closest place and where the ambulance will take you. My nanny is under strict instructions not to take my son there.”

Another poster said her 2-year-old son fell in the park and required stitches in his mouth, but he had to wait for hours in the emergency room — still bleeding from the cuts.

“The registration was hell and the woman doing it took her sweet time,” the woman wrote. “I just ended up being super pushy and [threatened to] go somewhere else.”

The operators of the Park Slope Parents site collected and forwarded the posts to the hospital, asking for improvements. The letter was necessary because “we heard [so many] negative things” about the hospital, said Susan Fox, the Web site’s founder.

The hospital responded in a sweeping two-page letter that outlined improvements to the emergency room over the last two years. There is now a separate pediatric emergency room and private suite for women with obstetric or gynecological concerns, and the entire facility was expanded by 50 percent, said the letter.

“We take community comments very seriously, and were especially disturbed that … there was a sense that the staff … did not seem to care about the feelings of the patients or their family members,” said the letter, which was signed by the vice president of communication and external affairs, Lyn Hill.

Hill promised that the hospital will make “every effort to address it,” but Van Amerongen added that it’s a two-way street.

“I don’t think people always understand that there is a system to this and there is a reason behind the system that they may not see just by being a patient coming in,” he said.

New York Methodist Hospital will hold a public meeting on Jan. 14 to discuss local concerns. For info, call the hospital at (718) 780-5367.

Updated 5:10 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Joe from PH says:
I suggest anyone with an orthopedic emergency to go to the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. They have a special emergency room for orthopedic emergencies which greatly reduces any wait time to a matter of minutes. My daughter broke a bone and our pediatrician on Plaza Street suggested we go to HSS.
Dec. 5, 2008, 11:43 am
Nicola Johnson from East Flatbush says:
My 26-month old was born at Methodist Hospital and I continue to bring him there for his emergencies which are quite often. (He was born with sickle cell disease). I do agree that the waith time in the emergency room at this hospital can be ridiculous, twice I've waited for more than five hours with my son who had a fever of nearly 103, and on one occassion I became so upset that I gathered my son and belongings and walked right out. Only to return because his fever worsened and I refuse to take myself or any of my children to Brookdale Hospital which is only blocks from my home. Methodist does need a better system in dealing with pediatric emergencies agreeably starting with hospital staff, but this hospital is the only one that I still trust enough to drive twenty minutes to receive medical attention because the doctors at Methodist are some of the best.
Aug. 28, 2009, 10:59 am
krait from ex park slope res says:
these are untrue claims. I grew up in park slope, and my doctor who i saw from birth until age 19 was affiliated to nym. so it was the ER used if I wasnt going in an ambulance. my catchment was long island college hospital for some reason. I prefer nym over lich any day. true, i waited seven hours when i broke my finger playing 'extreme wrestle tag' with friends. but then again when I was having a severe asthma attack (not just once!) I was seen RIGHT AWAY. really wherever you go will be a long long looong wait unless youre really going to bleed out/suffocate/stroke to death. a couple of stitches are nothing compared to that father of four having cardiac arrest in the back. suck it up. if youre not happy with nym, feel free to patronize kings county hospital. spoiled yuuupies.
Dec. 14, 2012, 9:10 pm

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