Archives for February 5, 2010 – Akron General puts ER wait times on billboards, Internet

Trying to avoid a painfully long wait in the ER?

One local hospital system is publicly sharing the current average wait time to see a doctor at all its emergency departments.

Akron General Health System recently began advertising up-to-the-minute wait times for its emergency rooms on billboards throughout town.

Six digital billboards in Akron are automatically updated every 20 minutes to show current average wait times to see a doctor …

The average times are computer generated, based on current patient information from the health systems’ electronic medical records…

via – Akron General puts ER wait times on billboards, Internet.

I think this isn’t terrible, as long as there’s some education that a) these are average times and that b) if you have a real emergency you go to the head of the line.

Oddly, I think this is different than the (currently boutique) practice of scheduling an appointment at an ED over the internet.  I think if you have the time to schedule your emergency, you don’t have one.  So, get a doctor and go there.

Bring on the ‘average wait times’, but make sure the same display is visible in the waiting room!