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Health & Wellness

Online system can reduce ER wait times

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Kaleida Health's Facebook page
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A new system is up and running to help minimize the wait times in the Emergency Department at some local hospitals.

Kaleida Health is now offering Online Emergency Department Check-In at DeGraff Memorial Hospital in North Tonawanda and Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Amherst. Given the nature of emergency care, Dr. Michael Mineo says it's not a reservation system, but it allows people with non-life-threatening conditions to check in and wait at home instead of sitting in the ER.  
    
"That is our hope that they come in at their time, we see them promptly, give them the care that they require. But also recognizing that as a Emergency Department we have a primary focus to see the sickest patients first," Mineo said.   

People can access the system at the bottom of the company's home page: KeildaHealth.org. Mineo says it includes two safety systems.
    
"First, if the patient puts in symptoms such as chest pain - and that is almost always an emergency - the system will actually prevent them from making a reservation and prompt them to go immediately to the Emergency Room. The secondary system is, we do have a triage nurse scan the people who do check in and attempt to identify life-theatening conditions. If we see something concerning, we'll attempt to contact the patient directly," Mineo said.  
 
If there is a surge in emergency cases, Mineo says the hospitals will make an attempt to contact patients and alter their time slot. He says the system's benefit for the Emergency Department is that it can help minimize patients' waiting, which is always a "great concern" for ER staff.  
 

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