Study examines ER wait times

The average emergency wait in 2005 was three hours and 42 minutes, according to a new report released by consultancy Press Ganey. Wait times in Iowa emergency departments are the shortest in the nation, averaging 2 hours and 18 minutes. Patients arriving at emergency rooms in Arizona can look forward to a much longer stay--nearly 5 hours. Hospitals in Utah were not far behind, averaging four hours and five minutes. Press Ganey argues that hospitals can minimize potential problems by keeping patients informed of how long delays are likely to be.

"The longer a patient waits, the more dissatisfied the patient gets." Said Press Ganey CEO Melvin Hall. "A hospital can soften that dissatisfaction merely by explaining the reason for the delay or giving an idea when the patient will be treated. In fact, patients with long waits who have received frequent explanations about delays are more satisfied than those with shorter waits who did not receive explanations."

- read this release from Press Ganey