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Hospital of Ebola patient posts poor ER benchmarks
October 22, 2014 21:52 GMT

(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. AP Photos planned.) By MARTHA MENDOZA and MATT SEDENSKY Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas hospital that cared for the first U.S.-diagnosed Ebola patient has many strengths. But the man walked in through its seemingly weakest link: the emergency room.

According to its own data, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital met or exceeded 75 percent of federal benchmarks of care. But its emergency department failed to meet any of five national patient safety and quality benchmarks it reported.

Thomas Eric Duncan was initially misdiagnosed in Presbyterian's ER, where potential warning signs apparently went unnoticed. He was later readmitted and eventually died.

The benchmarks measure how long it takes for patients to be seen, admitted, or otherwise cared for in the ER. Presbyterian says wait times are "only one component of patient care and patient experience."

Others insist longer wait times point to larger issues.