Friday, June 17, 2011

Hospitals Embrace Text Messaging of Emergency Room Wait Times

Patient Satisfaction, Load Balancing Drive Trend

MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to Miami-based healthcare technology company ER Texting, Inc., more hospitals are publicizing emergency room wait times through text messaging but for reasons that go beyond driving patient traffic.

Using ER Texting, patients can send a text message to a dedicated SMS short code (4ER411) and instantly receive a message in return which lists the emergency room wait times for participating hospitals in their area. The application enables patients to find hospitals with the shortest wait times using any mobile phone.

While the technology was originally marketed as a means to drive traffic to emergency rooms, hospital executives have discovered the added benefits of improved patient satisfaction and load balancing. These are two of the additional reasons why the Hospital of Central Connecticut (HCC) implements ER Texting services.

“We know that information in the hands of patients helps drive satisfaction,” said Jeffrey Finkelstein, chief of emergency medicine at HCC. “This service helps us to be transparent to our patients, even before they arrive at one of our campuses.”

The system can be implemented for a single hospital or a group of hospitals. ER Texting works with the hospital to create a live wait-time feed. The hospital then incorporates the 4ER411 message in its advertising campaigns. When patients have an emergency, they send a text message to 4ER411 and instantly receive a text message reply which lists the hospital’s short wait time. Patients immediately determine actual current wait times at local hospitals and go to the one that is providing the shortest wait at that time.

Apart from utilizing the service to advertise a hospital’s short emergency and/or urgent care facility wait time, the ER Texting system also gathers and populates a database for participating consumers--which can be used for outbound texting messages.

ER Texting provides texting services to hospitals and urgent care facilities that want to post their emergency room wait time and allow consumers to access those times via text message. By virtue of its dedicated and highly recognizable SMS short code 4ER411, ER Texting offers a complete, secure and integrated texting and marketing platform. The company currently operates in Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts and New Jersey. For more information on ER Texting, please visit or 1-877-4ER-WAIT (1-877-437-9248).

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