Although physicians do try to see patients as quickly as possible, emergency
care departments are notorious for having long wait times. However, some
hospitals, such as
West Hills Hospital and other HCA-affiliated medical facilities, have implemented streamlined
protocols to significantly reduce ER wait times. If you’re in need
of emergency care in the West Hills area, our staff members will evaluate
and treat you as quickly as possible.
Identifying Solutions to Long Wait Times
It’s commonly believed that long ER wait times are primarily caused
by the use of the emergency care department by individuals with non-emergent
medical conditions. However, boarding is actually the main cause of extremely
long wait times. Boarding is the
practice of admitting patients to the hospital despite the lack of available rooms, which means that these patients must
wait on gurneys in the halls. This means that the emergency care staff
is hard-pressed to provide care for additional patients who arrive in
the waiting room. Some hospitals have eliminated this practice, and instead
admit patients to different floors and departments.
Checking the Wait Times in Advance
If you’re concerned about ER wait times, you may be able to check
them in advance. Some hospitals post regularly updated ER wait times on
their website. Or, you may be able to get this information via text message.
Bear in mind that these wait times represent an average.
Notifying the Staff About Symptom Changes
Once you’re at the emergency care department, you’ll be assessed
by a triage nurse. The provider will evaluate the severity of your symptoms.
At an ER, patients with the most serious medical conditions are seen first.
If you have a less serious medical problem and you’re asked to wait,
you should notify the nurse if your symptoms become worse or you develop
At West Hills Hospital, our emergency care staff is committed to maintaining
ER wait times of equal to or below the national average, which means you
can receive the care you need faster. If you’re experiencing a true
medical emergency in West Hills, such as a heart attack, please call 911
immediately. Otherwise, you can reach our hospital at (818) 676-4321 for
general information about our healthcare services, which include cancer
care, maternity services, and spine care.