Lewis Gale Medical Center (LGMC) has purchased bill boards (that’s right bill boards along the side of the road) which tells motorists the “wait time” at their hospital emergency department. I guess that you will remember the “wait time” if you happen to be in an automobile accident just after passing the bill board. LGMC is so proud of its speediness it has even published its new policy on the Internet:
Patients visiting the emergency room at any of the four regional HCA Virginia hospitals (Lewis-Gale Medical Center, Alleghany Regional Hospital, Montgomery Regional Hospital, and Pulaski Community Hospital) no longer need to guess how long they’ll wait before receiving care. Now they can find out in advance, thanks to a new program that publicizes each hospital’s average wait times via text messaging, electronic banner ads and the Internet.
Even the Wall Street Journal has reported on this new trend in health care marketing.
My Question: Why aren’t hospitals advertising the great care they are providing their patients instead and does anyone think the push for “speediness” could result in more poor care?