Ochsner Health System Goes Transparent by Posting ER Wait Times Online

March 12, 2009

Online Door-to-Doctor Times Empower Patients to Decide Where to Seek Fastest Care

NEW ORLEANS, March 12 /PRNewswire/ — As more Americans express concern over their healthcare, New Orleans-based Ochsner Medical Center (www.ochsner.org) has taken the first step in becoming more transparent about its available medical care and empowering patients to gain faster service. Ochsner is now posting online, “real time” wait times for its four New Orleans area emergency rooms, thereby allowing patients the option to be treated more quickly at another Ochsner hospital for non-life-threatening conditions. The wait times are available at www.ochsner.org.

“High volumes have some emergency rooms in New Orleans experiencing substantial wait times,” says Guarisco, Ochsner Systems Chief of Emergency Services. “In an effort to better meet patient needs, we’re electronically surveying our four local hospitals’ real time and passing wait times on to patients who can then make an informed decision to either stay where they are or travel to another location and be seen sooner.” According to Guarisco, on average, 90 percent of ER visits are considered urgent care, while 10 percent are actual medical emergencies.

Ochsner (www.ochsner.org) is offering this information to patients in an effort to improve healthcare for the community and meet patients’ growing requests for information about their care. “When patients arrive at the emergency room, their expectation is that they’ll be placed in a room and evaluated by the provider and the faster we can do that the better it is for the patient,” says Guarisco.

“Recently, we displayed door-to-doctor wait times and several patients opted to choose shorter lines at Ochsner emergency rooms in Kenner, LA, and Ochsner Baptist in Uptown New Orleans,” says Guarisco. “Not only did those patients receive quality care quickly, it also decongested the ER where they first arrived – a balancing act that benefits everyone.”

Ochsner (www.ochsner.org) has fully-staffed emergency rooms at the following greater New Orleans locations:

  • 1514 Jefferson Highway, Jefferson (Ochsner Medical Center)
  • 180 West Esplanade Ave., Kenner (Ochsner Medical CenterKenner)
  • 2700 Napoleon Ave., Uptown New Orleans (Ochsner Baptist Medical Center)
  • 2500 Belle Chasse Highway, Gretna (Ochsner Medical CenterWest Bank)

“Ochsner is committed to helping all patients in an emergency and we never turn anyone away, however, we want the public to know if they can travel to another Ochsner location to receive faster care, it will benefit them and the entire healthcare system,” explains Guarisco.

Ochsner Health System (www.ochsner.org) is a non-profit, academic, multi-specialty, healthcare delivery system dedicated to patient care, research and education. The system includes seven hospitals and over 35 health centers located throughout Southeast Louisiana. Ochsner employs more than 750 physicians in 90 medical specialties and subspecialties and over 300 clinical research trials annually. Ochsner has been listed as one of the “Best Places to Work” by New Orleans CityBusiness since 2005 and received the Consumer Choice for Healthcare in New Orleans for 13 consecutive years. Ochsner was ranked as “Best” Hospital by U.S. News and World Report in 2007. Ochsner has 11,000 employees system-wide.

SOURCE Ochsner Health System

Source: newswire

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