With it being summer and the kids are out of school, I thought it would be a good time to give tips on ways to reduce Emergency Room wait times. I hope nothing happens to our families but it is always good to be prepared in case something does happen. If there is a life threatening emergency, call 911 and you will be admitted sooner but the hospital will still see you based on the severity of your injury.
Know when to Go
Keep in mind that doctors and hospital staff take vacations and get time off too. Try not to go during the weekends, nights, or holidays if it is possible. The best time to go is during the day, especially the morning hours between 9-11:00 am. You might want to wait to go once you get off work at 5, but guess what, everyone else is thinking that too. Go in the mornings if you can.
If you have an injury like a cut, a fall, the flu, or something else that is not life threatening, you might want to go to an Urgent Care center instead of the hospital. They usually have a much shorter wait time and they are actually a lot cheaper then going to the ER.
Call your Primary Physician
You can actually call your primary physician before you go to the ER. Your doctor can actually call the hospital for you and let them know that you are coming and what your symptoms are. If your doctor is associated with that hospital, they might be able to go ahead and book you a room so you can bypass the ER altogether.
ER Wait Watcher
This is a really neat app! You can enter your current location and it will pull up the weight times of all of the hospitals near you so you can see which one has the shortest wait time. ER Wait Watcher even gives you the current travel time and shows how many patients would recommend that hospital. You can use this on your phone or your computer. This is a great thing to have if you are out of town and not familiar with your location.
Those are my top 4 ways to reduce Emergency Room wait times. Another quick tip is to have a list of your current medications stored in your wallet. The hospital needs to know exactly what you are taking and this will cut down on the registration time so they can treat you a lot quicker. Remember to be kind and patient, yelling and causing a scene will get you nowhere. Let me know of any tips that you have in the comments below. I would love to hear them.