Healthcare Technology Featured Article

December 10, 2012

ER Texting on the Rise

One of the leading providers for texting services to emergency rooms, ER Texting, says the customers in the Baptist Health System utilize their services to the utmost potential. In the past year, the four hospitals in the Baptist Health System in Birmingham and North Central Alabama have been able to have their emergency rooms accessed by sending a text message from their mobile phone.

The service works by making it possible for patients to text their zip code to 4ER411 (437411) and have the wait time to the nearest emergency room instantly delivered to them. Along with the estimated waiting times in an emergency room, Baptist Health System provides patients with information about which of its Baptist Health Centers accepts walk-in patients.

With the novelty of the launching of a new product, the text inquiries were extremely high in the first few months of availability, with the numbers totaling more than five thousand text messages. However, after the newness had worn off, the application still proves to be popular for patients, as it averages approximately two thousand text messages every month. Executive vice president and chief operating officer at Baptist Health System, Keith Parrott, said that this is an important part of catering to the needs of modern patients, “The results speak to the importance of meeting customers in the mobile space. In today's mobile society, customers are accustomed to making instantaneous decisions, which can include a non-critical visit to the ER.”

According to a recent statement from ER Texting, the service improves patient satisfaction, allows hospitals to better balance their loads, increases efficiency, increases transparency, and, “ultimately increases ER visits”. It is a service that has proved itself to be incredibly useful for both ER patients and hospitals alike, and one that holds tremendous potential as it becomes more commonly used.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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