Know Emergency Room Wait Times Before You Leave The House
Mount Pleasant, SC -- Sometimes the most painful part about going to the emergency room is the wait time, but a new addition to the East Cooper Medical Center website is helping patients know how long the wait time in the ER is before they even leave the house.
Residents can now access the new ER Clock on the hospital website Home Page and see the average door-to-bed wait time. They can also see it on a large digital outdoor billboard during their commute on Interstate 526 between the Clements Ferry Road and Daniel Island exits.
Press Ganey, a leading provider of quality improvement solutions in the health care industry, reports that the average ER visit in the U.S. in 2009 lasted four hours and seven minutes but at East Cooper Medical Center, the average wait time in December 2010 was 15 minutes from door to bed.
The time is tracked using a statistical tracker system that transfers data to an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The feed automatically displays and updates the time online. Wait times reflect a rolling two-hour average and are updated every five minutes. Patients are seen in priority order based on the type and severity of their medical complaint. The technology is designed for patients with relatively minor medical conditions. Patients with potentially life-threatening health problems should call 9-1-1 so they can receive life-saving measures in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Patients with medical emergencies, such as heart attack, stroke or traumatic injuries, are always seen immediately.
According to Theresa Lynn, RN, director of emergency medicine at East Cooper Medical Center, the technology is helping patients and the hospital address one of the most common complaints about emergency departments – long wait times.
“We know that families are busier than ever and that every minute matters when you are ill or have a minor injury and of course, no one wants to make a trip to the ER,” says Lynn. “But for patients with non-life-threatening conditions, knowing before they come to East Cooper what they can expect in terms of wait time in the emergency room can make their hospital visit less stressful. It’s so easy, they are even able to look it up on their smart phones too.”
About East Cooper Medical Center
East Cooper Medical Center, part of Tenet South Carolina, is a 130-bed acute care hospital located at 2000 Hospital Drive in Mount Pleasant. Previously located at 1200 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, East Cooper Medical Center has been providing healthcare to the East Cooper community since 1986. We provide a number of services including 24-hour emergency care, women’s and children’s services, diagnostic imaging and interventional services, orthopedics, sports medicine, pain care, adult and pediatric rehabilitation services, wound care services and surgical care, including nationally recognized spine surgery and breast reconstruction surgery. East Cooper Medical Center is accredited by The Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest hospital accreditation agency.