Chicago Tribune features Edward's ER Wait Times.
Hospitals use technology to cut ER wait times
By Kay Manning
April 11, 2012
Edward Hospital offers four ways patients can be alerted to wait times for its emergency rooms in Naperville and Plainfield: on its website, via a mobile app, by texting and by phone call, if requested. The times are updated electronically as patients register, said Dr. Tom Scaletta, medical director of emergency services.
If delays spike due to a trauma or complex case, an explanation can be added and an extra team of professionals brought in, a change spurred by an overhaul of services before the hospital began posting wait times, he said.
"You never can predict a day … you can get especially busy for no apparent reason," Scaletta said. "But we wanted to assure patients of a wait time of less than 30 minutes and probably closer to 15."
The service has struck a chord with people, said Cheryl Eck, director of e-health at Edward. When it was launched in September, the mobile app was downloaded 900 times, she said. The hospital issues between 400 and 700 texts per month with wait times.
Edward has drawn business from hospitals that don't post wait times, Scaletta said. Still, he cannot envision going further, such as adopting a system like the one used since February by Provena St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin and Mercy Health System in Janesville, Wis. Called InQuicker, it allows online users to schedule a visit to an ER or urgent care clinic.
Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services