Maria Parham now displaying emergency department wait times

·2 min read

Jun. 28—HENDERSON — To fulfill its commitment "to providing high quality emergency care, 24 hours a day, seven days a week" to its community, Coordinator of Marketing and Communications Donna Young said, Maria Parham Health since June 14 is displaying average wait times for its emergency rooms in Henderson and Franklin.

The times are published solely on mariaparham.com, in a red box in the top right corner. "The hope is that at some point we can get these wait times posted on our social media pages as well," Young said.

"While it is still too early in the project to gauge how the public is responding to the new Wait Time Widgets on our website, I can say that it has already had a positive impact when it comes to our staff and providers," Emergency Room Director Donna Perry said. "Having this information constantly monitored has made our team members more aware and accountable for their time management, and that's a good thing for our patients. We're excited about it."

Young differentiated between patient registration time and greet time, which refer to the time that a patient registers in the emergency department with a request to see a healthcare provider and the time when a provider has an initial interaction with the patient to begin the medical screening examination.

The displayed wait time is a "four-hour rolling average," which Young defined as "the patient's registration time until he or she is greeted by an identified medical professional, which includes doctors of medicine or osteopathy, physician assistants or advanced registered nurse practitioners.

The rolling average is updated every 15 minutes and is calculated by a computerized system used by emergency department staff.

"While this method is accurate and reliable, it is important for visitors to understand that there may be times when the average displayed may differ from what a patient actually experiences," Young said.

This is because the averages often include periods of high and low patient volumes. Patients are also triaged upon visit, thus being prioritized depending on their reason for going.