Elmhurst Hospital, in Queens, New York, is a 545-bed city hospital that serves as a safety-net institution for a largely working-class immigrant population. The novel coronavirus has quickly spread through this vulnerable community, and the hospital is currently operating at more than 100% capacity. In an effort to free up precious beds, dozens of non-Covid-related cases are being transferred to other facilities.
Inpatient wards are overwhelmed with those who, under different circumstances, would belong in intensive care units. This is the “epicenter within the epicenter” of the Covid-19 crisis in New York City.
A month ago, Elmhurst had no confirmed Covid-19 cases. Now, possible Covid-19 patients make up more than 80% of the emergency department. As the wave has crashed over Elmhurst Hospital, its leadership and team have responded with creative solutions while working in a bureaucracy not otherwise known to be lean, interactive, or nimble.
Following this observation, doctors at Elmhurst Hospital set up a tent — one of the first in New York — outside of the emergency department. This stemmed the tide in three ways: First, it kept non-critically ill patients out of the emergency room and away from risk. Second, it allowed us to assign physicians who typically work in ambulatory clinics to the tent, freeing up ER doctors for the more critical cases.
We want to thank all our people on the front line, who are doing a great job in saving lifes, at Elmhurst hospital , which is 2 blocks from our office, and its also the Hospital I and my family go to when we get sick and my son was born there, and it was just right to help as many of these people who are there to help us and protect us. Thank you ,you are our true hero’s.
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