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Texas hospitals using a new strategy to ease crowded ERs

Houston Chronicle, January 5, 2009

In Houston, the ER overcrowding problem has been the subject of several studies calling for revisions to the emergency system. In 2006, the Harris County Hospital District changed policy to redirect patients who show up at the ERs of some hospitals without emergency symptoms to community health clinics or urgent care services. Memorial Hermann has now implemented a "quick look" strategy, where patients are seen by a nurse or other health professional within five minutes of arrival, then get the sick or injured person to a doctor within 30 minutes.