New York City’s largest hospital system is calling for improved patient care and more staff to ensure its hospitals are not overrun by patients seeking emergency care.
The Empire State Plaza hospital system has requested additional staff and additional beds to help it maintain its patient wait-time advantage, and said it expects to have enough beds for 10,000 patients in fiscal 2019.
The hospitals have been among the nation’s top hospitals for years, but they’ve seen their patients numbers fall dramatically over the past few years as the city’s hospitals struggled to cope with the influx of new patients.
“We’ve had the highest number of patients in the city for the last few years,” Empire State Hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Davis told USA TODAY.
“That’s why we’ve been so successful.”
While the Empire State was the first hospital in the nation to offer its own patient care, it has been the first to seek a grant from the city to help pay for a new patient care center.
The plan was approved by the city Health Department in July, but the department says it is waiting on state approval before moving forward.
Davis said she was encouraged that the state would grant more money to help improve patient care.
“They’re trying to get to a place where they can have a full range of patient care,” she said.
“I think the state has a responsibility to make sure that the city has the best resources possible.”
The plan calls for the hospital to spend $15 million on a new facility in the Bronx.
The city expects to open the new center in 2019.
City officials say they plan to spend an additional $5 million to build a new, more modern medical center in Brooklyn, a project that is scheduled to be completed by 2022.
The New York State Department of Health says the hospital plans to spend another $10 million on additional beds in the borough, but declined to provide more details.
New York Gov.
Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in March that they had reached a deal on a $3.6 billion federal grant that would help pay the cost of building a new hospital.
Under the deal, the state will reimburse the hospitals for the costs of providing patient care in the hospitals operating rooms, a move that Cuomo has said would give hospitals a financial boost.
The state’s Department of Economic Development says that while the city expects additional staff to help maintain its advantage, the total number of beds and beds per patient will remain at current levels.
Davis says the deal has helped the hospitals with patient wait time and patient mortality.
“What we’ve done is make sure we’re working with the hospitals to ensure that they can maintain their current level of patient wait,” Davis said.
The deal was announced in response to a state report showing the hospital system had the third-highest number of hospitalizations among the citys hospitals.