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Hospital to display emergency department wait times

on Monday, 28 June 2021. Posted in News, Columns, Local News

Bill Little Guest Columnist

Minutes matter when it comes to saving lives, and for this reason, Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center is committed to providing high quality emergency care, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to our community. Part of this commitment involves keeping our community informed; we want you to know who to call, when to call, when to seek emergency care, when to call 9-1-1, and other potentially lifesaving information.

One specific way we are working to better inform you of our emergency care is through the regular publication of our average emergency department wait times. This information is displayed on our hospital’s website, www.cprmc. com. Even more information can be found on our social media pages. Our expectation is that this information will better prepare you, if and when you need emergency care.

How it’s calculated: When you see a time, such as 14 minutes, displayed on our website, it is important to understand that this is a four-hour rolling average. Each person who enters our emergency department is tracked through a computerized system. The person’s registration time in the ED and “greet time”, which is the time when the patient is greeted by a qualified medical professional, are used to calculate the average wait times. The computerized system automatically averages the most recent four-hour time period, which is updated every 15 minutes throughout the day.

What to expect: The average wait time is accurate, reliable, and regularly updated. However, due to the natural flux in patient volume, it is possible for a person to experience a shorter, or longer, wait time in our emergency department than what is displayed on the signage. Furthermore, patients are prioritized based on severity of the complaint or reason for the visit. This is why we use the four-hour rolling average; it minimizes variance by factoring in the natural ebb and flow of emergency departments.

At Carolina Pines, our priority is to deliver quality care close to home for the people in our communities. We hope you find this new information helpful should you find yourself in the middle of a medical emergency.

Bill Little is the chief executive officer for Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center.