Patients don’t mind waiting in the ER as long as they’re kept apprised of the time, an industry survey revealed. This is a good thing, since ER waits have risen nationally to an average of four hours and seven minutes this year.
Press Ganey Associates, Inc., has conducted the survey annually and says that ER wait times are four more minutes than last year, or a half hour more than the first survey in 2002. The company collected data on 1.5 million patients treated at 1,893 hospitals in 2009.
Despite longer wait times, patient satisfaction with U.S. hospital emergency departments stayed about the same in 2009. Communication was the key, as patients who waited more than four hours, but received “good” or “very good” information about delays were just as satisfied as patients who spent less than one hour in the emergency department.
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Hospitalist*