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Wesley-affiliated emergency rooms to use billboards, app to announce wait times

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Sep. 16, 2013, at 12:24 p.m.
  • Updated Monday, Sep. 16, 2013, at 5:08 p.m.

Two emergency rooms affiliated with Wesley Medical Center will start posting their average wait times on electronic billboards, a website and a mobile phone app.

Wesley West, 8714 W. 13th St., and Galichia Heart Hospital, 2610 N. Woodlawn, are participating in the program, which was announced by Wesley officials Monday.

“The main thing is to drive accurate and timely information to the community,” said Steve Edgar, Galichia Heart Hospital CEO. “Certainly if someone is in an emergent situation we’re not moving off of the importance of utilizing the 9-1-1 system.”

“This is just another opportunity where people can go and check, another tool in the toolbox on how successfully and quickly you can be processed through the emergency department.”

According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control, the average emergency room wait time nationwide was 58 minutes in 2009, an increase from about 46 minutes in 2003.

The wait time at Galichia’s emergency department is consistently fewer than 30 minutes, Edgar said.

Galichia sees an average of 60 emergency department patients a day, and the Wesley West location sees more than 70 patients a day, Edgar said.

The wait times will be available at www.wesleyercheckin.com and its corresponding mobile phone app, according to a news release.

Francie Ekengren, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Wesley, said they will likely expand the service to Wesley’s main location on Hillside in the future.

Galichia was acquired by Wesley Medical Center in 2012.

Average wait times for most hospitals nationwide, as they are reported to the federal government, can be found at www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html.

Reach Kelsey Ryan at 316-269-6752 or kryan@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @kelsey_ryan.

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