May 26, By Jason Cohen
Elmhurst Hospital officials claim that emergency room wait times have come down this year.
The hospital, in a statement, claimed that in March the average wait time for all patients was down to 1 hour and 16 minutes and that for sicker patients the wait time was far less.
The statement follows a Daily News report earlier this week that claimed that the average emergency room wait at Elmhurst Hospital was close to two hours in 2016.
The hospital reportedly had the longest wait time of any of the city’s 11 hospitals, and the wait time was close to four times as long as the national average of 39 minutes, according to data for 2014 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A spokesperson for NYC Health + Hospitals, which oversees the city’s hospitals, said the hospital is working on cutting wait times and is improving.
Besides clipping the average back to 1 hour and 16 minutes, hospital officials noted that for patients in severe pain or who were extremely sick, the average time was under 20 minutes.
Hospital officials also claimed that in 2016 some administrative procedures led to increased wait times. A spokesperson said that emergency department staff underwent documentation and technology training, which led to a temporary increase in wait times for patients—in particular, for those who were not true emergencies.
Representatives of the hospital continue to try and reassure the public that its doing its best to reduce wait times and note that the emergency room will be expanded.
“In Queens, work is underway at Elmhurst Hospital to renovate and expand its adult emergency room,” Stanley Brezenoff, the CEO of NYC Health, told the city council recently. “The project is currently in a design phase, and we expect that it will be completed in 2019. We would like to thank the Queens Borough President and the Queens City Council delegation for their support.”