The gamut with its nuances (ER in hospitals, stand-alone ERs, Emergency Centers, Urgent Care Centers, etc., and more, probably more, on the horizon), only adds to the confusion.
The expression clear-as-mud comes to mind.
Trying to ascertain what is what, several months ago I went to Northwell and asked if someone were stabbed, could Northwell take care of it. The guard did not know and called a nurse.
She said no.
Since St. Vincent’s was killed, leaving the west side of Manhattan without a hospital with an ER from 59th Street to The Battery, many neighborhoods are without a hospital. My hospital is NYU, and I live in Chelsea on 24th and 8th Avenue. With the traffic being what it is, one can only hope that one can get there.
—Catherine M. Perebinossoff
PS: I think the only viable solution is to have Urgent Care Centers within hospitals, as part of hospitals. Thus, if only Urgent Care is necessary, the person can receive the appropriate Urgent Care and leave. If the person needs a hospital, the person is already there in the hospital. No getting to the hospital is required, especially with the traffic problems we have.
Let me attempt to clarify some of this for you. People call Emergency Departments a variety of names such as: Emergency Department (ED), Free Standing Emergency Department (FSED), Emergency Room (ER), Emergency Center, etc. These are all describing the same thing and are all required to have the same capabilities. The only distinction with an FSED is that they do not have a full hospital within the same walls. Originally ERs were just that—a room. As they grew into full departments, most people internally began calling them EDs or Emergency Departments.
An ER is however very different from an Urgent Care Center in its operations, capabilities, and legal designation. ERs have Emergency Medicine physicians on site at all times, are open 24/7/365, treat every patient that presents regardless of what their insurance is and whether or not they have the ability to pay and receive ambulances through the 911 emergency system. None of these are requirements for Urgent Care Centers.
In your scenario, the guard was correct to direct you to one of the clinicians. The nurse however was incorrect in her answer. I would be interested in knowing who you spoke with and will investigate. The Lenox Health Greenwich Village Emergency Department is capable of handling all emergencies. I would love to discuss all of the nuances and show you around if you have time.
—Alex Hellinger, Executive Director
Lenox Health Greenwich Village