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Some Hospital ERs Now Post ‘Wait Times’

From an approving Associated Press:

Headed to ER? Some post waits by text, billboard

By Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer Tue Aug 24, 2010

WASHINGTON – Need an X-ray or stitches? Online, via text message or flashing on a billboard, some emergency rooms are advertising how long the dreaded wait for care will be, with estimates updated every few minutes.

It’s a marketing move aimed at less urgent patients, not the true emergencies that automatically go to the front of the line anyway — and shouldn’t waste precious minutes checking the wait…

Despite that fledgling trend, ERs are getting busier, forcing them to try innovative tactics to cut delays — such as stationing doctors at the front door to get a jump-start on certain patients.

And in 2012, hospitals are supposed to begin reporting to Medicare how fast their ERs move certain patients through, a first step at increasing quality of care across the board.

Hilarious. Yes, rushing people as quickly as possible through ER will increase the “quality of care” dramatically.

"The longer people stay in the emergency department, the more likely they’re going to have complications, deaths. If they’re elderly, they’re more likely to end up in a nursing home," says Dr. Nick Jouriles, emergency medicine chief at Akron General Hospital in Ohio, among the hospitals that post estimated wait times.

We suspect Dr. Jouriles is confused about the concept of ‘cause and effect.’

ER visits hit a new high of more than 123 million in 2008, up from 117 million a year earlier, says preliminary data released this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of course there is no mention anywhere in this entire article about the influx of illegal aliens undocumented Democrats.

A disturbing report last year from Congress’ investigative arm found too often, patients who should have been seen immediately waited nearly a half hour. Add in tests and treatment, and a trip to the ER can easily last three or four hours.

Yes, let’s have "Congress’ investigative arm" decide who should get what treatment. What could possibly go wrong?

So why post wait times that might encourage people who otherwise could have tried an urgent-care center?

There are no statistics on how many hospitals advertise wait times, although they tend to have multiple ERs in a region, usually the suburbs. The idea: People with less urgent conditions — maybe they need stitches for a cut — might drive a bit farther for a shorter wait, possibly helping a hospital chain spread the load without losing easier cases to competitors

What an idea. Just imagine if patients were allowed to make other informed decisions. Such as which hospital would cost less.

But of course Congress would never allow that.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, August 24th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Some Hospital ERs Now Post ‘Wait Times’”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    “Hilarious. Yes, rushing people as quickly as possible through ER will increase the “quality of care” dramatically. “

    Excellent point, Mr Gilbert.

    In our largely dysfunctional society, there are many misconceptions as to what is considered “good”. One is that faster service=better service.

    Of course, to the conservative, critical thinker, better service=better service. And by better that means service which encompasses many facets of the total package. Thoughtful, measured discussion with the caregivers, appropriate application of first aid, intelligent, caring people who understand the situation and our specific needs who have the proper training to deal with contingencies, facilities that are properly equipped to handle same, etc etc.

    But under socialist-care, we are in for big trouble as already demonstrated by the UK and other heavily burdened societies who believe that the “have-nots” are unfairly treated due to a “biased and discriminatory” capitalist system.

    Well, folks, we ain’t seen nuttin’ yet. See ya on the other side after they kill me. (just sayin’)

  2. proreason says:

    Thank god our sainted congressional representatives don’t have to wait to have their health needs serviced.

    If they did, they couldn’t read all of the bills they have to read.

    Oh wait……..

  3. Right of the People says:

    This is just the beginning if we can’t repeal the onerous bill. Current wait times for an non-life threatening injury or illness in Montreal are currently 48 hours give or take a few. This is what happens when you let bureaucrats decide on your health care.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    Here in N.C. Kay Hagan said that we were going to get the same coverage that Congress critters get.
    So…..what’s the problem?
    You don’t suppose she lied to her constituents do you?

    Problem #1 with ERs is indigent and illegals hovering in them. You wanna clear out 3/4’s of the ER? Run ICE through there.
    Problem solved!!

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