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ER Wait Times Via Web And iPhone


Say you slice your finger half off while chopping onions, and you live just minutes from several hospitals. Where do you go? It’s looking ever more likely that soon, you’ll be able to check the Web or your smartphone (typing with your intact hand, that is) to help you decide.

CommonHealth reported in August that patients planning to go to a Metro West Medical Center hospital — Framingham Union Hospital or Leonard Morse Hospital — could text to find out how long the ER waits were. Now Newton-Wellesley Hospital has called our attention to the new wait-time display on its Website (see above.) And by the end of October, it hopes to have an iPhone app up and running, along with a mobile version of its Website that will work on many smartphones.

I checked several other local hospitals’ home pages and saw no obvious reports on ER waits. But surely that time is coming soon. After all, if many restaurants now use apps to let patrons know how long they’ll have to wait for tables, shouldn’t hospitals be able to tell patients how long they’ll have to wait for their sutures?