Emergency Medicine Overview

NewYork-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell Medical Center

Emergency Medicine

Keeping Patients Safe During the Pandemic

Is it safe to be in the ER?

Your safety and wellbeing are our top priorities. Our Emergency Room teams are highly trained and prepared to take care of your emergent care needs in the safest way possible.

Please do not delay or ignore your medical needs.

How does the ER identify and isolate patients with possible contagious infections such as COVID-19?

As soon as patients arrive at our ER triage area, they are given a mask, asked a series of questions related to COVID-19, and their vital signs, including temperature and oxygen saturation, are taken.

Patients who have symptoms associated with COVID-19 are brought to a separate designated care area and cared for in an isolation room for the duration of their stay in the ER.

Patients whose screening indicates that they are not at risk for COVID-19 will be brought to a different patient care area to reduce the risk of exposure.

How are you cleaning and sanitizing the Emergency Department?

NewYork-Presbyterian maintains the highest standards of cleanliness and infection control. Our Environmental Services (EVS) team plays a key role in the Emergency Department through their infection control responsibilities. Their strict attention to infection prevention practices help to keep our patients and our health care teams safe.

Before patients enter clinical care areas, every item that may be needed during their visit is sanitized thoroughly with disinfectants following protocols approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These include stretchers, blood pressure cuffs, and all monitoring equipment. Privacy curtains are regularly replaced as well. In addition, our isolation rooms undergo substantial cleanings in between patients. Deep cleanings are also performed daily in the ER.

Why is the Emergency Room care team wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE)?

Your care team may be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect both you and each other from possible infection. By wearing a gown, mask, gloves and a face shield, the care team is reducing the risk of a virus or bacteria passing from you to them or from them to you.

Additional Protective Measures in the Emergency Room

Waiting Room

The number of seats in the waiting room has been reduced to allow for social distancing and minimize the amount of time patients will remain in the waiting room.

Hospital-Wide Precautions

Throughout the entire hospital, all staff members and visitors are now required to wear masks, even when they are not in patient care areas. In addition, an increased number of hand sanitation stations are available throughout the hospital.

Increased Telehealth Options

We have dramatically expanded our ability to provide telehealth for patients. These virtual visits are easily available and a convenient way to speak with a physician who can address many issues without an in person visit.