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Major Improvements at Harlem Hospital’s Emergency Department under Dr. Rajesh Verma

Dr. Rajesh Verma, Chair of Emergency Department, Harlem Hospital Center.

There have been major improvements at Harlem Hospital’s Emergency Department since Dr. Rajesh Verma was appointed Chair of the Emergency Department last year. Dr. Verma’s changes have enhanced patient care and outcomes and enhanced staff satisfaction in the Emergency Department. The major changes include restructuring the Bed Management team, improving the patient flow for greater efficiency and hiring highly accomplished attending physicians—all of whom are Emergency Medicine board eligible or certified.

“With the changes we have put into place, staff satisfaction and engagement is at an all-time high,” said Dr. Verma, who also serves as Secretary of PAGNY’s Board of Directors. “Everyone is proud of where we have come in just one year and there is an eagerness to participate in more projects to further improve the Harlem’s Emergency Department.”

Under Dr. Verma’s leadership, the Emergency Department initiated a collaboration with the Health and Hospitals Corp. to create the first fellowship program in Harlem Hospital, called the Simulation Fellowship. The first fellow, Robin Kim, MD came on board in the Harlem ED this summer and is working clinically in the department during the fellowship.

Dr. Verma also instituted a strict no diversion policy for the Emergency Department. As a result, EMS no longer diverts cases to other hospitals and the Emergency Department has increased its EMS numbers by 33% as compared to last year. Sicker patients are now admitted to the hospital, resulting in increased revenue.

Dr. Verma also created a new patient flow model for the department, with nursing overseeing patient flow, enabling providers to see more patients. Also, a separate Urgent Care unit was created. This helps the Emergency Department care for sicker patients more efficiently while less acute patients can be seen faster because they don’t have to wait behind sicker patients. These changes have had a direct impact on improving patient satisfaction.

In addition, the department is implementing a streamlined system for stocking supplies, which should save about $200,000 per month. And the Department is working to establish an Emergency Medicine residency program at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem.

The entire team at PAGNY is very proud of the progress the Emergency Department has made this year and is eager to participate in its continuing success.