Risk of Long ER Wait Times
Nobody likes to wait but waiting when you are sick or in pain is worse, and frankly, for us, it’s unacceptable.
At Altus Emergency Centers, we know firsthand how pain and fear can affect patients and their families. That is why we always strive to find better ways to improve our response times.
These are some of our most recent improvements:
You can complete the simple form while you are on your way to our nearest center.
The online check-in offers many benefits:
- It alerts our staff you are coming so we will be waiting for you at the door
- It helps cut our response time significantly which is vital for critical patients
- Our administrative staff and Patient Advocate can start the insurance paperwork ahead of time so you can go home faster
We are very excited about this recent change. Altus Emergency Centers has broken with tradition and decided to do things better by hiring doctors directly.
Having in-house physicians working around the clock has not only improved how fast we can treat patients, it has also it has allowed us to improve our quality of care.
How Risky Are ER Wait Times?
The overcrowding crisis of hospital-based ER’s is an undeniable threat to public health.
There have been many studies regarding the effects of long wait times in the ER to patient outcomes.
One study found that patients who visited the ER and encountered long wait times were more likely to die or require hospitalization after they left the ER.
Additionally, research from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality linked ER overcrowding with more frequent medication errors. Meaning patients either got the wrong medication or the wrong dose. The study also found that when hospital ER’s are overcrowded, more patients did not receive their medicine when needed.
Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.
What Causes Hospital-Based ER Overcrowding?
Understanding what causes a problem is usually the first step in finding a solution to it. In the case of ER overcrowding, the answer is not always clear.
Many reasons can cause a hospital ER to become overcrowded:
- A big accident brought in too many patients at once
- The ER is understaffed
There are patients in the ER that need hospitalization, but the hospital doesn’t have room for them. When this happens, patients must stay in the ER until the hospital can take them in; this means there are fewer beds available in the ER.
How Long Will You Have to Wait in the ER?
Waiting in the ER can be distressing, not only for patients who under the best circumstances are in a lot of pain and at worst are fighting for their lives. It is also stressful for family members.
ER doctors and nurses also feel the pressure to see more patients, and this can result in lower quality of care.
According to the latest data from Pro Publica, the average wait time for a patient to see a doctor in a hospital-based ER is 18 minutes. On average, it takes 132 minutes from the time the patient first enters the ER to the time they get to go home.
By comparison, patients who visit an Altus Emergency Center can expect to be on their way home within 90 minutes. How do we achieve this?
- It takes only 6 minutes for one of our registered nurses to evaluate a patient
- Non-critical patients will get to see a doctor within 15 minutes after arrival. Critical patients receive immediate medical attention.
Thanks to our onsite laboratory and diagnostic imaging, on average, our doctors can have a final diagnosis within 79 minutes.
Percentage of Patients Who Leave the ER Without Being Seen by a Doctor
(Lower Percentages are Better)
Percentage of patients who came to the emergency department with stroke symptoms who received brain scan results within 45 minutes of arrival
(Higher percentages are better)
Average (median) time patients spent in the emergency department before they were seen by a healthcare professional
(A lower number of minutes is better)
Texas and National Averages were Obtained from the Medicare site.
At Altus Emergency Centers, we are proud of the high standard of care we offer our patients. We can outperform hospital-based ER because of the dedicated, passionate people that work with us and thanks to our outstanding technology and facilities.
Every one of our emergency centers is equipped to treat any medical emergency. For those patients who require hospitalization, we process the transfer or referral, and for critically injured patients, we can arrange transport via air ambulance.
When in need, choose to receive the best treatment with no wait times, select to be treated at Altus Emergency Centers!
How Does the Online Check-In Work?
Watch Reagan explain how to use our Quick & Easy Online Check-In System. It comes in handy to know there’s a great solution as we know there’s no time to wait in an emergency! Here, he is explaining how it works for Lumberton but you can find it right on our home page, Altus Emergency or just scroll below!