Daily Gazette: COVID Causing Emergency Room Delays at Capital Region Hospitals

Photo Courtesy: Daily Gazette

The Daily Gazette published an article on the increased emergency room waiting times across Capital Region hospitals, including Ellis, Albany Medical Center, and St. Peter’s and Samaritan hospitals.

Steven Hanks, M.D., chief clinical and chief operating officer for St. Peter’s Health Partners, discussed the impact the long wait times are having on patients and colleagues.

From the article:

The three largest Capital Region hospitals on Friday warned of longer emergency room wait times and the state Department of Health urged New Yorkers to take precautions amid the increased community spread of COVID.

The rising number of people seeking treatment for COVID infections and the diminished ranks of hospital staff available to treat them is causing crowding at emergency department waiting rooms, Albany Medical Center, Ellis Medicine and St. Peter’s Health Partners said Friday.

Dr. Steven Hanks, chief clinical officer for St. Peter’s Health Partners, said the triage process often results in non-urgent patients waiting much of the day to be seen in an emergency department.

“As many people don’t expect such long waits, they are becoming increasingly frustrated and agitated and — in some cases — they are verbally or even physically abusing our staff,” he said Friday via email.

“We understand that people visiting the emergency department are sick, worried and stressed. However, we ask them and their families to please understand our staff is doing their absolute best to care for every patient in a timely manner, and to please treat everyone in our facilities — including one another — with patience and respect.”
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