Nursing

Web site spotlight: ED wait times touted online, but docs point to a dangerous trend

Nurse Leader Insider, January 11, 2010

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There were no patients waiting for emergency care at Oregon's Sacred Heart Medical Center RiverBend in Springfield one night at 6 p.m., but there were five in line at its sister hospital, University District in nearby Eugene.

Patients could assess their chances of being seen quickly at either ED simply by going to Sacred Heart's Web site. ED wait times are updated every five minutes through infrared badges pinned to patients in line, electronically tracking their flow.

Advertising your hospital's ED wait times and the number of patients in line is an emerging marketing strategy around the country as facilities search for ways to grab market share from their competitors and make sure their patients have the best possible experience.

But officials for the American College of Emergency Physicians are not so sure the idea is medically sound.

Editor’s note: To read the rest of this article, visit ED wait times touted online, but docs point to a dangerous trend found in the Reading Room at www.StrategiesForNurseManagers.com.

Do you need continuing education (CE) credits? Check out this month’s CE article to learn about a successful project that helps facilities prepare for patient falls or visit our archives and view a compilation of CE articles (marked with an asterisk).



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