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3 Reasons to Market Your ED Wait Times

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, September 1, 2010

The admission process is one reason the ED gets backed up, Angela Gardner, MD, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians told HealthLeaders Media in July.

"Hospitals need to stop boarding admitted patients in the emergency department and get them to the appropriate inpatient floor quickly," she said. "That is what's best for the admitted patients but it's also what's best for the patients suffering in the waiting room."

The tactic is low-cost and high-buzz
Advertising ED wait times on your hospital website and social media accounts cost nothing. Creating a smartphone app through a third-party is also a nominal investment. And you don't have to launch an expensive dedicated marketing campaign to promote your short wait times.

And once you do start making ED wait times available, the local media will take notice. Hardly a day goes by when my Google Alerts doesn't contain at least one article from a small newspaper extolling the community hospital for communicating its ED wait times.

It's getting coverage in larger media outlets, too; MSNBC, The Boston Globe, and The Salt Lake Tribune have each written about the trend this month.

It's a hot topic. By marketing your organization's ER wait times, you can increase patient volume, improve staff efficiency, and garner some free publicity and positive word-of-mouth.

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