Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Methodist Hospital Responds to Park Slope ER Horror Stories

November 28th, 2008 · 6 Comments

Stung by a dozens of emails circulating on the Park Slope Parents Mailing List, a letter from the group’s advisory board and, we are certain, some unflattering blog headlines, Methodist Hospital says it wants to talk and try to figure out what’s wrong with its emergency room that has people so angry. (Separately, we talked to someone yesterday who was taken there by ambulance after falling and having no feeling on her left side and ended up leaving after receiving no care in a timely fashion, other than a curt “you’ve been drinking” from the triage person.) Here’s the report from Susan Fox, head of Park Slope Parents, which is newsorthy and which we reproduce without asking permission: Yesterday the PSP Advisory Board sent a letter to Lyn Hill, Vice President of Communications and External Affairs at New York Methodist Hospital and the Board of Directors. The letter included examples from PSP posts (included with permission from the authors) along with an offer to the hospital to post a response to our list.

I received a call from Lyn late yesterday afternoon. She indicated that New York Methodist Hospital is looking into the matter and will write up a response to our list for posting after Thanksgiving weekend. Furthermore, they are going to plan a Community Forum early in the new year so that they can hear first hand people’s concerns first hand as well as educate people on how best to get their the emergency situations having a positive experience…

Moral of the story: create a stink, then have online news outlets bring it to hundreds of thousands of readers, and you get a hope of action.

Tags: Park Slope

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jack // Nov 28, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Excellent news! And I’m glad that creating a stink worked! To an extent.

    As I’ve said in other posts, being glad-handed will be a part of this process. Don’t fool yourself into thinking the problem is solved because you are talking to a VP of Communications (aka: Public Relations Flack).

    Listen and communicate with this person, but keep notes, share stories and keep the pressure on.

  • 2 Mandy Wynn // Nov 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Doesn’t really seem like the “news” organizations had anything to do with the response. A community group spoke up for its members and the hospital responded directly to them.

  • 3 David // Nov 28, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    Back yard health care crisis solved.
    I’m telling you guys, Arnold Diaz!

  • 4 neighbor // Nov 29, 2008 at 11:51 am

    I wonder, though, if there isn’t a numbers-based falsehood here.
    Of the X thousands of people who went to the Methodist ER in 2008, Y received very poor care, and of that number Y, Y(12) are (a) members of PSP, and (b) wished to and were willing to write out their complaints there.
    But is Y(12) a significant percentage of X? If you could somehow measure another number, representing ALL people who received poor care at the ER, regardless of whether or not they are (a) PSPers and (b) willing to complain, what would it be?
    I’m not presuming to know, and noisy wheels are greased, and there’s nothing wrong with a community health provider seeking to always do better, and a community group speaking up, but I wonder if the Methodist ER is actually any worse than any other urban ER.
    I don’t think you can know that from the complaints as gathered.

  • 5 Jack // Nov 29, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    David, weren’t you the one who said that publicizing this stuff on blogs and other news sources wouldn’t solve anything?

    Public shame works wonders.

  • 6 david // Dec 1, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Yup, written responses and forums. Problem clearly solved– “to an extent” indeed!