Emerging Trend for Children's Hospitals: Providing Parents With Urgent Care Center Wait Times Via Text Messaging

MIAMI, March 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The use of mobile technology for the publication of emergency wait times is certainly an emerging trend among children's healthcare facilities. Earlier this month, another major children's hospital elected to begin posting its urgent care center wait times for parents to access via their cell phones.  

ER Texting, the leader in text/SMS wait time applications for the healthcare industry, successfully launched its services at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Medical Center (CCHMC). CCHMC joins the growing list of children's hospitals using ER Texting to provide this service to parents of children visiting their urgent care facilities. 

Parents can now text "ccurgent" to 4ER411 and instantly receive the current wait times, hours of operation and direct contact information for the CCHMC Anderson, Fairfield and Mason urgent care facilities.

"When examining how to reach our patients and families, we knew we would have to meet them in the mobile space," commented Kurt Myers, Coordinator of Community Relations at CCHMC. "Providing an option to receive wait times via text was a logical first step into the mobile arena. Arming patients with information is one of the key components to achieving high patient satisfaction scores. We want our patients and families to know what to expect when coming to one of our urgent care centers. Additionally, the service allows families to self-select which of our three locations they want to visit, helping control patient flow."

Miami Children's Hospital (MCH), who originally implemented the ER Texting service in May 2011 (text "MCH" to 4ER411), has seen over 2,000 subscribers use the service to obtain current wait times at the MCH Doral, Kendall, Palmetto Bay and Weston urgent care facilities. 

"By marketing our live wait times, the hospital took a risk," said Marcia Diaz de Villegas, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at MCH. "The texting service demanded more transparency from the hospital. In the end, it was a win for all, as patients are now getting more information and are able to make better decisions."

The MCH urgent care texting and marketing campaign has been a success, realizing a year-to-year increase of over 11% in urgent care traffic, while providing improved patient experiences.  Eventually, the hospital plans to utilize its mobile consumer database for proactive outbound communication with its patients.

About ER Texting
ER Texting provides texting services to hospitals and urgent care facilities that want to post their emergency room wait time and allow consumers to access those times via text message. By virtue of its dedicated and highly recognizable SMS short code 4ER411, ER Texting offers a complete, secure, compliant and integrated texting and marketing platform. For more information on ER Texting and our capabilities, please visit www.ERtexting.com.