St. Luke's to post ER & Urgent Care wait times on hospital Web site - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

St. Luke's to post ER & Urgent Care wait times on hospital Web site

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CEDAR RAPIDS (NEWS RELEASE) -- St. Luke's will be the first hospital in Cedar Rapids to post Emergency Room (ER) and Urgent Care wait times online.

Starting August 1, St. Luke's ER, St. Luke's Westside Urgent Care, 2375 Edgewood Rd SW and St. Luke's Bowman Woods Urgent Care, 6911 C Ave. NE will post wait times on St. Luke's Web site stlukescr.org.

St. Luke's ER will update wait times every two hours and the Urgent Care clinics will update every hour. Times reflect the patient wait to get from the waiting room to an exam room. In addition, visitors to the Web site can take a virtual tour of the emergency room.

"We thought this would be a very consumer-friendly service to provide," said Sandi McIntosh, St. Luke's Emergency Services director. "People are more connected than ever, this is just one more tool to give patients and families so they can make an informed choice about what's best for them."

Since St. Luke's unveiled its newly remodeled and expanded ER earlier this year, wait times have decreased and patient satisfaction has increased. The average wait time from arrival to a private room takes less than eight minutes. The ER expansion added over 13,000 square feet and ten additional private rooms, which provide patients easier access and faster service. St. Luke's ER also received a 97th percentile patient satisfaction score for the second quarter of 2009, which places St. Luke's ER in the top three percent in the nation for emergency care.*

The high marks and faster service in St. Luke's ER can be attributed to the renovation project and the several improvement projects such as bedside registration, a revamped triage and ongoing work to improve the flow of information among staff.

"We are always looking for ways to improve our process and get people seen faster," said Ryan Sundermann, MD, St. Luke's Emergency Department medical director. "Posting our wait times is an effort to be transparent and provide the community with an honest look at wait times in our ER. Some facilities may say they have a time guarantee but that can be difficult to deliver because the most critical patients will always be a priority."

St. Luke's is one of the busiest Emergency Departments in the state. In 2008, nearly 57,000 patients chose St. Luke's for their emergency care.

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