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Dramatic Drop in Emergency Room Overcrowding

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — There’s been a dramatic drop in emergency room overcrowding at Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center.

County health officials told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that “dangerously overcrowded” conditions in the 600-bed hospital’s emergency room have dropped from an average 16 hours each day in August to five hours a day last month.

Health department chief network officer Carol Meyer says a new “rapid early medical evaluation” area in the emergency room has also eased treatment delays. Patients now see a doctor or nurse within an hour of arrival.

The Los Angeles Times says that since August, the number of people who left the emergency room without being seen has been halved and County-USC is now handling 400 more patients a month.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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