Which hospital emergency rooms have the longest wait times? That's the question answered in a new application from the nonprofit, public interest news organization ProPublica.
The ER Wait Watcher app uses federal government data to show the average wait times to see a doctor or other licensed professional at area hospitals, plus the time it takes to drive there. The app uses one year's worth of data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that is updated quarterly.
Wait times are broken down into the following categories:
- Time spent in the ER before being seen by a doctor
- Time spent in the ER before being sent home
- Time patients with broken bones had to wait before receiving pain medication
- Additional time spent waiting between admission and placement in a room
5 LONGEST WAITING TIMES before being seen by a doctor
Park Nicollet Methodist (St. Louis Park, Minn.): 50 min Fairview Southdale (Edina, Minn.): 49 min Healtheast St. John's (Maplewood, Minn.): 49 min St. Luke's (Duluth, Minn.): 43 min Olmsted Medical Center (Rochester, Minn.): 42 min
But speed doesn't exactly mean quality care.
"Consumers should be aware that there is much more to the quality of an emergency room than how quickly they see you," Dr. Jeremiah Schuur, an emergency physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, told ProPublica.