ER Wait Times Available Online

Published On 08/19/2010

Methodist Healthcare is the first hospital in Memphis to make Emergency Room wait times available online for all Methodist adult hospitals. Patients will see approximately how long it will take to see a medical professional, such as a doctor or nurse practitioner, and choose which hospital emergency room best meets their needs.

Wait times are accessible online at, using a computer or mobile browser or by texting ERwait to 46786* to learn the wait time for Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital, Methodist North Hospital, Methodist South Hospital, or Methodist University Hospital.

“Patient flow in emergency rooms constantly changes,” explains Marty Carr, M.D., medical director for Methodist Healthcare’s adult emergency rooms. “By posting our wait times on-line, we’re giving our patients a tool they can use to make an informed decision.”

A growing number of hospitals across the country are posting ER wait times on-line. Methodist joins hospitals such as Atlantic General Hospital in Maryland and Sacred and Scottsdale Healthcare in Arizona, that are posting wait times to let people know what to expect. The national average wait time to see a doctor or nurse practitioner in the emergency room is 60 minutes. Methodist typically beats that time with an average of 40 minutes.

“Posting emergency room wait times on-line shows our commitment to providing our patients high-quality care and reflects how serious we are about increasing transparency,” said Dr. Carr.

The ability to post hospital wait times on-line is the result of six years of groundwork to create the electronic medical record that gives Methodist the ability to collect the necessary data. Dr. Carr says posting emergency room wait times on-line lets patients choose which hospital emergency room best meets their needs. Wait times will be updated every two minutes.

As always, in case of a life-threatening emergency, patients should go to the closest emergency room where they will be seen immediately, or call 911. *Standard texting rates may apply.