More Quality Competition

Across the nation, hospitals are trumpeting shortened wait times in ERs in hopes of attracting more patients:

  • In Arizona, Scottsdale Healthcare System advertises emergency room wait times for its four hospitals online and on a flat screen in each hospital’s emergency waiting room.
  • Edward Hospital in Naperville, Ill., sends text messages back to prospective patients with its wait times.
  • Some Healthcare Corp. of America hospitals in west Florida post wait times on billboards, according to reports from the St. Petersburg Times. “Accidents happen fast. Emergency care should, too,” reads one electronic billboard, which also lists wait times.
  • Other hospitals are testing a service where patients register online and pay a fee to hold their spot while they wait at home.
  • The Hospital of Central Connecticut has an iPhone application listing wait times and directions to the hospital.

Full article on more efficient hospital emergency rooms.

Comments (6)

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  1. Joe S. says:

    There is more competition than I would have expected.

  2. Stephen C. says:

    All these examples suggest that emergency room care is profitable for hospitals. This may not be true for all hospitals, however.

  3. Ken says:

    Well, if emergency rooms are profitable, what is everybody complaining about?

  4. artk says:

    I hate to be a curmudgeon, but convenience and quality are two different things. What’s the good of a shorter waiting time in an emergency room if you have a lower chance of a successful outcome? I don’t see anything in these “improvements” that help get better outcomes. I’d rather see them advertising their emergency room staffs are better trained or more experienced. That’s competing on quality!

  5. Bart Ingles says:

    If hospitals could treat non-emergency patients more cheaply in an urgent care clinic, there would be an urgent care clinic next to every emergency room.

  6. Podiatrist Ashton Under Lyne says:

    Enjoy reading this, thank you:)