About Us

Urgent Matters serves as a dissemination vehicle for innovative strategies on emergency department (ED) patient flow and quality and acts as a central resource for hospital staff to discover field-tested initiatives that can be tailored to their organization.

Our multidisciplinary audience is engaged through webinars, a searchable collection of ED improvement tools and strategies, an annual meeting, podcast series, and blog.

Originally founded by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, it is currently housed within The Ronald Reagan Institute of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine. Urgent Matters started in 2002 as a ten-hospital collaborative Learning Network that provided breakthrough research on patient flow measurement and improvement. The participating hospitals implemented rigorous performance measures, assessed current processes, and used techniques of rapid cycle change to improve ED throughput and output, ultimately finding that overcrowding can in large part be addressed through better capacity and patient flow management with a highly structured approach using mainly existing resources.

Our second collaborative included six hospitals that worked together to identify, develop and implement strategies to improve patient flow and reducing ED crowding. Since, 2002, Urgent Matters has been a virtual network of emergency care stakeholders.

Dr. Andrew MeltzerDirector

Andrew C. Meltzer is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University whose research focuses on the use of novel bedside diagnostics and therapeutics to identify, understand and care for patients with emergency conditions with a focus on gastrointestinal emergencies. Dr. Meltzer is a well-published author and he is an active lecturer and educator. He research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and medical industry.

In addition to his scholarly pursuits, Dr. Meltzer has served in a leadership role for several successful healthcare tech startups. Specifically, Dr. Meltzer serves as Chief Medical Information Officer for Babyscripts, a digital health tool to transform pregnancy care and served as Chief Medical Officer for OpenBeds, an online platform for substance use disorder treatment.

Dr. Meltzer attended medical school at the SUNY Downstate School of Medicine in New York City, completed his residency and fellowship training in emergency medicine and clinical research at the University of Maryland Department of Emergency Medicine and Shock Trauma Center, and serves as Director of Clinical Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine. He is also the director of Urgent Matters, a dissemination vehicle for strategies on emergency department (ED) patient flow and quality.

Jake KellerProgram Administrator

Jake Keller is Program Administrator for the Ronald Reagan Institute of Emergency Medicine and an MHA student at the GWU Milken Institute School of Public Health.

Andrew PetrusMultimedia Editor/Producer

Andrew Petrus is an instructional media specialist for the Emergency Medicine Department at George Washington University, working closely with the clerkship, residency, and fellowship programs. Prior to coming to George Washington, Andrew managed the Media Center at Dickinson College and co-founded the Dickinson Makes initiative. He also spent ten years improving instructional technology education at the K-12 level in Pennsylvania working on grants such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Principals' Technology Leadership Academy.