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Emergencies Treated Like Emergencies By Area Hospital

By Alicia Dorr in News on Oct 22, 2007 7:50PM

Everyone expects to be shuffled through several waiting rooms without any pants on during a regular doctor visit, but it can be very frustrating to wait when you have to go to the emergency room. Adventist GlenOaks Hospital in the western suburb of Glendale Heights has embraced the idea that time is crucial in emergency situations, spending $7 million on an emergency room with no waiting rooms.

Emergency room patients now skip the waiting room portion of the typical ER and go straight to a private examining room. A nurse examines the patient right away and a doctor usually arrives within 15 minutes. Even during busy times, doctors keep patients waiting no longer than 30 minutes. The hospital's 19 individual rooms rarely fill up, and visits are often shorter as lab work, X-rays and other time-sensitive testing is given priority over regular hospital patients.

glenoaks%20hosp.JPGThe reasoning behind the seemingly revolutionary system is that many uninsured patients often have to use the ER in lieu of regular doctor's visits.

The decreased wait times and immediate assistance mean a lot to families with children like little Aubrianna Pumo, who's had two recent visits to the ER: once when she knocked herself in the head and then again when she drank mouthwash. (She is fine.) Instead of the half-hour it took to treat Aubrianna at Adventist, her mom would have had to spend close to four hours during each trip, the average duration of an ER visit in Illinois.

Image via Adventist Midwest Health.