The critical component in any emergency situation is time. For the people of any community, the time to diagnosis and treatment is the key to better outcomes in an emergency.
For the residents of the West Village, there is a new medical outpost for emergency care. The new Lenox Hill HealthPlex, a part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, will be opening at the corner of 7th Ave and West 13th Street to provide convenient and timely care for the neighborhood. Recently, with a team from the West View News, I had the opportunity to tour the still under-construction facility.
The HealthPlex is a free-standing emergency medicine facility. The modern design is akin to a chic hotel lobby with patient bays or rooms with glass doors flanking the grand hall. Many of the rooms have natural light provided by glass brick exterior walls. There are specialty rooms as well for victims of sexual assault, psychiatric emergency evaluation and two critical care theaters for treating the sickest patients.
Unlike the traditional academic medical center, here are no hospital beds upstairs, no operating rooms and no catheterization lab. If a patient requires admission or interventional procedures, they must be shipped to another hospital of their choice.
However, the state-of-the-art facility will also be supported by specialists from the NS-LIJ system. The medical director, Dr Eric Cruzen, acted as tour guide and explained how a Skype-type video communication system would be utilized to consult specialists from the home campus for patients requiring advanced care.
As a physician and new resident of the West Village, I am excited to have this facility in our neighborhood. While not a full-fledged hospital, the HealthPlex provides a valuable resource for the community. The Emergency Department there will accept all comers, insured or otherwise, to render care for those in need. It is convenient for our neighborhood and will be staffed with highly trained physicians with the state-of-the-art tools at their disposal.