N.J. Hospital Advertises 7-Minute ER Wait Times

Bold Statement Broadcasted All Over Garden State Highways

BAYONNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — You’ve probably experienced waiting endlessly in an emergency room. But now a New Jersey hospital is trying to change the image of the over-packed ER by letting you know how long you’ll have to wait to be seen by a doctor.

Want to know how long your wait will be inside Bayonne Medical Center’s emergency room?

Just check out the billboard on the New Jersey Turnpike or another one placed right in the center of Jersey City’s Journal Square, reports CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

“Seven minutes seems pretty good to me,” said Mike Rowan of Jersey City, adding when asked if that would make him want to check out the hospital, “Not really. I don’t want to be there if I don’t have to be.”

“Possibly, I might just want to go there just because of that 7 minutes because I know Jersey City Medical Center takes a little bit longer,” one man told WCBS 880 reporter Levon Putney.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney: The New Campaign Would Work On Some

No one wants to end up in an emergency room and chances are those who do will never see the billboards. But the medical center’s CEO, Daniel Kane, said it’s a great way to market the hospital’s commitment to care.

“We want the community to know we can offer them high quality care in a very efficient timely manner,” Kane said.

“If people are going to get sick they are going to get sick and the issue is where do you go where you can get the best care and the most timely care?” Kane told Putney.

The emergency room waiting area at midday is often empty, exactly how doctors said they’d like to see it remain.

“What you want to do is eliminate all wait times and we’ve made a commitment. All of our patients, especially critical patients, will be seen immediately upon arrival and everybody else within an average of 30 minutes,” said Dr. Mark Spektor, the head of the Department of Emergency Medicine.

Andrea Felder of Jersey City said she brought her son to the Bayonne Medical Center’s emergency room.

“He came in, went right straight in. They did the surgery on Sunday. They’re excellent,” Felder said.

Still, the Bayonne Medical Center is the only hospital in the Tri-State Area doing this. At a time when hospitals are struggling to compete, this may be one way of bringing patients in.

In 2012, hospitals are supposed to begin reporting to Medicare how fast their ERs move certain patients through, part of a push to increase quality of care across the board. Experts believe the longer patients stay in an emergency department, the more likely they are to have complications.

A 2009 report from Congress’ investigative arm found that too often, patients who should have been seen immediately waited nearly a half hour.

Do you believe the hype? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Christine Sloan
  • Ira slotkin

    The care you will at bayonne is frightening. Becarefull what can happen to you there in 7 minutes Alot can go wrong there in 7 minutes

  • Bayonnee

    There’s no wait time because they don’t accept health insurance there!! God bless you if you willingly walk into that place looking for treatment.. Jersey City Medical Center is my first choice.

  • anonymous reader

    That wait time is just the time that you will spend in the ER waiting room. I am speaking from experience when I say that I went to the ER and the wait time was 3 mintues which I did not wait in the waiting room that long… HOWEVER after I was in a room it took a Doctor 2 hours to come in and see me. The billboards need to say that the ER waiting room time is 7 minutes but you will still be here for hours becuase you will not see a doctor in 7 minutes!!!

  • JE

    There’s been one of these in Boston at St. E’s for over a year now–it seems like a good plan, but if you need an ER, you need an ER no matter how long the wait right?

  • Marcella Maynard Thomason

    we have multiple billboards here in charleston sc that have the wait time listed and compares the wait time for 4 area hospitals… they are wonderful and I have made a decision before based on the constantly updated times to drive 10 minutes longer to save 18 minutes on the wait. They work well and have been in use for much more than a year.

  • Monifa Blumpkin

    The wait is measured in days at Brooklyn Hospital Center.

  • Evangelina Lamela

    That’s a lot of bull. I live in Bayonne and have gone to the Medical Center hundreds of times, including just recently, and never was seen in 7 minutes. Don’t believe the hype!

    • jimelko

      Evangelina you have had over 100 emergencies , you got bad luck or are using the ER as your family doctor and going there with non emergency type of problems, that creates the problem of crowed ERs

  • Jeremy Robert Plante

    Try waiting 10 hours at a Calgary Alberta hospital.

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