Health Care Trends With a Social Media Twist
Having spent many hours in a hospital ER waiting room for myself and my kids, I'm really excited about the following concept.
Some hospitals are adding a texting service that allows patients to receive up-to-date information on their mobile phones while en route to the hospital. Shawnee Mission (Kan.) Medical Center uses a system called ER Texting, a system that went live last March. Using a dedicated texting code, patients can send a text message with their ZIP code in the body of the text. The system sends a message back with the ED wait times of each hospital within the specified ZIP code that has contracted with the messaging service. The times do not apply to life-threatening emergencies that require immediate attention. Since the system went into fffect, the hospital has received up to 300 requests each month. Since Shawnee Mission's texting system went live last March, the hospital has received 200 to 300 text requests each month. For those of you in Massachusetts, Lawrence General Hospital has ER texting as well and receives about 200 to 150 texts per month.
I think this is a great service to the community and I'm sure it's a matter of time before more hospitals offer this kind of service.