Bayonne Med. Ctr. billboards show ER wait times

April 13, 2011 3:33:53 AM PDT
Bayonne Medical Center has two new billboards that show how long its emergency room wait times are in real time.

When 72-year-old Lois Zygmund walked into the emergency room at Bayonne Medical Center Tuesday night with bronchitis and dizziness, she was seen immediately by a medical technician.

"Fantastic. I am so happy to walk in here and know I'll be put into a room soon. That's the best part. No wait," Zygmund said.

She spent barely five minutes in the waiting room before being wheeled into the emergency room to see a doctor.

Now everyone will know just how short the wait is.

The hospital just put up two computerized billboards, one in Union City, and the other by the Holland Tunnel.

They highlight the average time spent in the waiting room, and it is constantly being updated.

"Unconscionable, to wait three to five hours. You should be seen as quickly as possible, hopefully within minutes," said Dr. Mark Spektor, of the Bayonne Medical Center.

The time is measured from door to doctor, meaning from the time the patient enters through the doors until he is seen by a doctor.

Bayonne has completely revamped the way they practice emergency medicine in order to whittle that time from hours down to minutes.

For starters, an EMT greets the patient and medical attention begins immediately.

Insurance forms other paperwork are processed later.

They also increase staffing during peak times like Mondays and Tuesdays.

These new billboards are getting message across.

Indeed faster care can translate into better results, especially for heart attacks and strokes.

The goal of Bayonne Medical Center is to take the wait out of their waiting room.

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