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ER Wait Times at your Fingertips

March 26, 2009

New technology is allowing patients in the middle Georgia area to find out the average ER wait time at Coliseum Medical Centers and Coliseum Northside Hospital before they go to the hospital.  The hospital is posting its average ER wait times on its website and via text messaging.

“Earlier this year, we became the only hospital in our area to post our average ER wait times on our website and digital billboard,” explained hospital CEO Allen Golson.  “Now, we’ve taken the next step and made our average ER wait time available via text messaging.  In the text message mode of your cell phone, type ER in the body of the text and send to 23000. Users will receive a reply, asking to enter their zip code in the Bibb County area, which is followed by a text message with the hospitals’ average ER wait times.”

Golson says the technology is helping patients and the hospital address one of the most common complaints about emergency departments – long wait times.  “Patients with medical emergencies, such as cardiac, stroke and trauma, are always seen immediately.  It’s the patient with non-emergent conditions who is benefiting from being able to know our average ER wait time before they come to the hospital.”

Emergency Department Medical Director, Ralph Griffin, MD FACEP says, “The reaction to posting our average ER wait times online has been very positive.  Our message to the community is they can choose where they want to receive emergency care.  If they’re being transported to a hospital via ambulance and want to come to a Coliseum Health System facility, they need to tell the paramedics.”

Message and data rates may apply. For more info visit texterhelp.com.