Allina Health launches ER Advisor to help patients, families estimate wait time

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Long wait times in emergency departments can be frustrating for families.

However, one area health provider has introduced a new tool to try and help make dealing with those wait times a little easier.

Allina Health wants to be more transparent with patients to give them a better idea of what’s happening behind the scenes, which is why they’ve launched the ER Advisor.

When you check in at the front desk, you’re asked for your phone number, and from there, you’ll get a text message with a clickable link. That directs you to a web page that gives patients – or parents – a personalized wait time estimate.

In addition, it gives information about what may be coming next when it comes to care.

“We’re the first in the state to implement technology like that and how it helps our patients is, we all know when we’re waiting, if we know more about what’s happening, why we’re waiting, what’s coming next and about how long it’s going to be, it can help us be more at ease,” says Chris DuFresne, the Vice President of Digital Experience at Allina Health.

Patients can also choose to share this information with loved ones, so they have a better idea of what’s going on with their care.

So far, ER Advisor is at United Hospital, Abbott Northwestern, West Health, Mercy in Coon Rapids and Mercy’s Unity campus in Fridley.

“This is a way for Allina Health to be transparent with their patients and provide them with the wait time so there’s less anxiety, less frustration,” said Lucas Laue with the Emergency Department at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.