Hate spending hours in an emergency room for a deep cut or some other minor medical crisis?
Now, consumers who are pressed for time don't have to wait around. They can text, go online or download an iPhone app to find the emergency room wait times at eight HCA North Texas hospitals and one free-standing facility. Billboards with clocks also display average wait times as part of HCA's "Moving at the Speed of Life" campaign.
The promotion is the latest effort to meet consumer demands for fast medical care at a time when ER visits nationwide hit a high of 123 million in 2008, compared with 117 million in 2007.
On average, patients nationwide spend four hours in emergency rooms. Patients with minor injuries or illnesses may wait one or two hours before seeing a physician, according to the American College of Emergency Physicians.
The wait-time campaign isn't aimed at someone having a heart attack or stroke, but at people with urgent care needs such as a sprained ankle.
It's an easy way to find the closest ER with the shortest wait time, said Winston Borland, president and CEO of Medical Center of Arlington.
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