October 24, 2012

Harrington Launches Live Wait Times for Emergency Rooms

SOUTHBRIDGE/WEBSTER, Mass. - October 24, 2012 - Harrington HealthCare System has launched live emergency room (ER) wait times on its website, www.harringtonhospital.org, where patients and the community can view the amount of time they might wait to be seen in the Southbridge and Webster emergency departments.

"We are committed to providing excellent care without making patients wait hours in our ERs," said Thomas Hijeck, R.N., M.S., Vice President of Nursing at Harrington HealthCare. "We are proud of our wait times, which are significantly lower than most in the area."

The wait times posted on the website define the time it will take a patient from walking through the doors of an Emergency Department to the time it will take for them to be placed in a bay and seen by a physician or nurse practitioner. Harrington employs state-of-the-art electronic medical record technologies which allows for tracking all aspects of the patient visit, including wait times.

Harrington joins other hospitals across the nation that have taken the approach of making healthcare more accessible and transparent.

"These numbers are very accurate in our commitment to patient care," said James Sullivan, M.D., Chief of Emergency Medicine at Harrington. "It's important for patients to realize conditions like chest pain, severe abdominal pain, sudden onset weakness, dizziness or headache could warrant a more urgent response and potentially cause a longer delay for others with less serious symptoms in our Emergency Rooms. But those who are experiencing things like respiratory symptoms, rashes, lacerations and minor orthopedic injuries could look at our website to determine which campus might offer quicker treatment."

Harrington has committed to adhering to a 30 minute "Door to Doctor" philosophy for emergency patient care. Average wait times for both the Webster and Southbridge campuses have been 15 minutes or less. Combined, both campuses see approximately 36,000 patient visits each year in the Emergency Department.