24h wait in the ER / video of a patient collapsing while waiting

Long waiting times and crowded ERs have unfortunately become rather common in the US – sadly enough, the country has gotten so much used to this fact that a crowded ER or a diverted ambulance is not news any more. The tragic story of a NY woman collapsing in the ER of a psychiatric ward, however, made it into the national news. Her collapse and subsequent death were captured by the video system installed in the waiting room and the video made it onto YouTube. When the patient collapsed (after having waited for 24h), nobody (neither patients nor hospital employees) noticed or cared. A sad reminder about the importance of service operations management (including the management of waiting times) and quality management. For more details, see:

NYT July 2, 2008: Video of Dying Mental Patient Being Ignored Spurs Changes at Brooklyn Hospital 
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/02/nyregion/02hosp.html

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