Avoid The Rush! Some ERs Are Taking Appointments

Michael Granillo and his wife Sonia await treatment at an emergency room in Northridge, Calif.

Michael Granillo and his wife Sonia await treatment at an emergency room in Northridge, Calif.

Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News


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Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News

Three times in one week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo returned to the emergency room of the Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Southern California, seeking relief from intense back pain. Each time, Granillo waited a little while and then left the ER without ever being seen by a doctor.

“I was in so much pain, I wanted to be taken care of ‘now,’ ” says Granillo. “I didn’t want to sit and wait.”

But on a recent Wednesday morning, he woke up feeling even worse. This time, Granillo’s wife, Sonya, tried something different. Using a new service offered by the hospital, she was able to make an ER appointment online, using her mobile phone.

When they arrived at the hospital, he was seen almost immediately.

“The minute I told her who he was and why we were here, she opened the door and let him in,” says Sonia Granillo. “That was a relief … because I thought he was going to say, ‘Let’s go, let’s go. I

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/09/23/348756549/avoid-the-rush-some-ers-are-taking-appointments?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=affordablecareact

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