Sick of Waiting: 3 Hospital Emergency Rooms in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware With the Longest Wait Time - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Sick of Waiting: 3 Hospital Emergency Rooms in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware With the Longest Wait Time

An NBC10 Investigators analysis identified three ERs where the wait is longest, and built a searchable database of all ERs in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An analysis by the the NBC10 Investigators uncovered the three local emergency rooms with the highest wait times. NBC10's Mitch Blacher explains.

    (Published Friday, Nov. 17, 2017)

    There are nearly 250 hospital emergency rooms in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

    Many will treat tens of thousands of patients each year. An NBC10 Investigators analysis of federal Medicare records found that the wait to see a doctor varies greatly from one ER to the next. The data is from 2015, the most recent available.

    The median wait across the country is about 30 minutes. In Pennsylvania, it's 22 minutes. In New Jersey, it's 25 minutes, while in Delaware, it's 34 minutes.

    Here are the three hospitals in the greater Philadelphia region with the highest median wait times, and what officials there say is to blame for the plus-hour waits. And below those three is a complete list of the hospitals in the three states analyzed. The searchable database includes ER wait times, time it takes for patients with broken bones to receive pain medication, and percent of patients will leave before being seen.

    NUMBER THREE: Lankenau Hospital, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania

    Median wait time: 61 minutes

    The hospital's ER is currently designed to treat 35,000 patients a year. This year, it is on pace to treat 58,000. Dr. Joe Bushra, chief of emergency medicine, said 61 minutes is "way too long."

    "That's a long time to wait when you're sick."

    Bushra said Lankenau is doing something to improve its ER wait time: The hospital is undergoing an expansion to the department that will be completed in 2019.

    NUMBER TWO: Christiana Care Health Services, Newark, Delaware

    Median wait time: 63 minutes

    The hospital in Delaware's second-largest city already did what Lankenau is embarking on: expansion.

    "We've done several things to address that," Dr. John Powell, assistant chairman of emergency medicine, said. "One is the emergency department that we're standing in."

    Powell said the larger ER at Christiana should lead to lower waits than the 2015 show.

    NUMBER ONE: Cooper University Hospital, Camden, New Jersey

    Median wait time: 66 minutes

    Cooper, like the other two hospitals in this bottom three, is undergoing an expansion of its ER. The hospital said in a statement that it will be completed by early 2018.

    In Pennsylvania, there is no standard established for acceptable ER wait times. Dr. Michael Consuelos, of the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania, said that has a lot to do with the myriad types of injuries, illnesses and afflictions that are treated at a hospital's emergency room.