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Glimpsing Into The ER Of The Future

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WASHINGTON - Like every U.S. hospital emergency room, the one at Washington Hospital Center is overwhelmed — on any day patients lie on gurneys in the corridor, hooked up to monitors. Others wait for hours to see a doctor.

But next door to the old and crowded emergency department is a bright oasis of calm. Backed by a $2.2 million federal grant and drawing on 600 different ideas from a task force of experts, the hospital is putting in what emergency department chairman Dr. Mark Smith hopes will be a first draft of the emergency department of the future.

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