From The Boston Herald
Five years after a $500 million expansion, Massachusetts General Hospital’s emergency department is again overburdened, in the words of hospital President Peter Slavin with “delays, dissatisfaction, and sometimes even concerns about quality and safety.”
Before the public, payers, policymakers and donors get on the hook — again — for more staff and more extraordinarily expensive capital expenditures, let’s ask these questions first.
• What’s the mix and volume of patients presenting at the emergency department?
• What portion of discharges occur on time, and of the rest, how long are they delayed?
• From when a patient first presents in the ED, what’s the lag until that patient is examined and treatment begins, the time from “door to doc?”
As to the first question, there are certainly patients with conditions that truly are life- or limb-threatening and arise unexpectedly. Think stroke, heart attack, or aneurysm.