I just returned from another business trip and this time I was at a conference in Las Vegas. What intrigued me most were the number of signs that post a number where you could call to find out wait times for the Emergency Departments of local hospitals. What a novel idea! Prospective patients could call ahead to see where the wait time was less and then go to that institution for service.
Where I live there are 3 hospitals within a 20 mile radius and more often than not, their patient census is bulging at the seams. We know on the weekend and at night, many people will go to the ED for care just because they don't have access to their primary care provider. While the "Minute Clinics" have certainly helped in my area, the EDs of our 3 local hospitals always seem to be busy. What an interesting marketing idea to let patients have the option to go where the wait time is less. This whole idea can really push EDs to streamline their patient flow.
By Anne Dabrow Woods, MSN, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC