I bet many of those reading this post have experienced their local emergency room…and it probably was not a good experience. Under-staffed and over-crowded emergency departments seem to be the norm, not the exception.
I just found an interesting site on the Internet which lets you compare the average waiting times for emergency departments. The site is called “ER Wait Watcher” and is maintained by Propublica, an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.
I just compared the wait times for the closest 3 hospital emergency departments in my area and the difference is striking:
1. Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital – 60 minutes
2. Lewis Gale Medical Center (Salem, VA) – 30 minutes
3. Lewis Gale Montgomery – – I hour and 5 minutes
My Take: You seldom have the time to reseach which emergency department will see you the quickest when confronted with a true medical emergency (life or death). However, it might be a good idea to check on your local emergency departments from time to time just in case you need prompt emergency care.