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Exclusive 'ER Wait Times' service begins on Space Coast

New website: www.BrevardERs.org debuts on Space Coast

ROCKLEDGE, FL - During an emergency, one of the most precious things you can't afford to waste is time. When you or a loved one needs emergency care, you want to know how quickly that help will be available. If you're heading to an Emergency Room (ER), you want to know how long you will have to wait before the injuries or illness is assessed.

Until now, however, you would have no way of knowing how long the wait might be until you arrived at an ER. And without actually visiting more than one Brevard ER, you would have no way of knowing if the wait at one particular hospital might be shorter than others. It seems like it should be easy enough to get that kind of information. After all, if restaurants can tell you how long a wait you can expect before you arrive, why shouldn't Brevard ERs be able to do the same?

The answer is that now you can quickly get ER Wait Times for all four of Health First's hospitals simultaneously at www.BrevardERs.org. As the largest local healthcare provider (operating twice as many hospitals on the Space Coast than any other provider), Health First has just launched its new real-time instantaneous wait times for all four of its hospitals. The new service is intended to make it easier for residents to know what to expect if they need to visit one of Health First's ERs at Cape Canaveral Hospital, Holmes Regional Medical Center, Palm Bay Hospital, or Viera Hospital. With a click of the mouse, you can know immediately which hospital has the shortest wait time to enter patients into ER triage.

The ER Wait Times for all of Health First's ERs are now updated online at the new website. Health First is the only hospital system in the area offering the ER Wait Times to patients.

"The four Health First hospitals are the only ones in this area providing this service in real time to our patients," said Health First spokesman Elliot Cohen. "We're the only locally-headquartered multi-hospital system, and we know that many of life's emergencies will involve our own friends or neighbors. We want to provide as much information as we can to help them and their families. We think www.BrevardERs.org does just that. We also want to dispel the myth that it always takes hours to be seen in an ER."

The new website is updated around the clock, and shows how long it will take to be seen by a qualified healthcare professional in triage. But the reality is that you may be seen even faster than the posted time, depending on the type of emergency. More serious cases will always be treated in an ER faster than less life-threatening cases based on a professional's assessment during triage.

Starting in the fall, patients will also be able to send a text message to BrevardERs.org and have the ER Wait Times for all Health First hospitals sent directly to their Smart Phones. By clicking on the ER they want to visit, any GPS-enabled Smart Phone will receive a map and driving directions.

Another great advantage of the new website is that you can make a more informed decision concerning whether an ER is the best place to take your loved one. Some less-serious, non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses can be treated at a walk-in clinic instead of an ER. Health First's QuickCare Clinic located on the South end of Holmes Regional Medical Center, as well as the Health First Physicians Cocoa Beach Walk-in Clinic just off A1A on North Banana River Boulevard can treat many less-serious injuries that don't require the type of emergency care provided in an ER.

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*Please note this service is not intended for urgent life-threatening situations which require 9-1-1 response.