Long emergency room wait times could cause some people to leave hospitals, returning home with chest pains, migraines, anxiety issues and other conditions that require immediate care. A visit to a crowded emergency room could also force families to sit with babies and toddlers, rocking them in effort to soothe them, as they cry or scream in pain due to an injury or illness.
Check In System Reducing Time Spent Waiting in Emergency Room
The problem has reached the point where, as reported in the Wall Street Journal August 2, 2011 ” Informed Patient: Cutting Wait Times in the Emergency Room” article, ” Hospital emergency departments are turning to a number of strategies to reduce wait times, amid growing concern about patients who leave without being seen.” The article continues, “Leaving without treatment can lead to lost revenue for hospitals and health risks for patients. Long wait times are the main factor cited by patients for leaving without getting care.”
Steps people, including parents with sick children, can take to reduce the amount of time they spend in an emergency room waiting to receive medical care include:
- Comparing hospital check in emergency room times
- Using an online check in system to alert a local hospital that they are on their way to receive emergency medical care
- Making reservations through a hospital reservation system within 10-15 of arriving at a medical facility
- Contacting their private physician, alerting her to their medical symptoms, including how they are feeling, and receiving guidance from their physician on how to proceed
- Call 911 and wait for emergency medical care technicians to arrive and transport them to a nearby hospital
Some private physicians work at hospitals one or more days a week. It might be possible for adults to contact their private physician and alert him that they are on the way to the hospital he is working at due to experiencing a medical emergency. For those using a hospital reservation system, it’s possible to make reservations in as little as five minutes using the check in system. Types of information required to make a reservation include the patient’s zip code and a reservation time. After reservations are made, patients receive a confirmation number they can take to the hospital.
Even after using check in emergency room systems, people experiencing medical situations that require immediate care are encouraged to dial 911 to be transported to a nearby medical facility as soon as possible. Should a person no longer require emergency care, they can contact the hospital directly or use the hospital reservation system to cancel their reservation.
http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2011/08/02/cutting-wait-times-in-the-emergency-room/ (Wall Street Journal: Informed Patient: Cutting Wait Times in the Emergency Room)