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Fatima first hospital in state to post emergency room waiting times

Fatima Hospital is the first hospital in Rhode Island to post current emergency department waiting times on its hospital web site. This feature alleviates one of the most stressful facets of an emergency room visit: unexpectedly long waiting times.

“Wait times have historically exceeded several hours in busy emergency departments,” said Dr. Josiah Child, Chief of Emergency Services at Fatima. “Posting our wait times signals the community that our physicians are serious about providing the most modern and efficient services available anywhere.”

The posting of waiting times informs visitors to Fatima’s emergency department how long it will take to see a health care provider. Every half hour, emergency room staff at Fatima update the waiting times, which are posted in real time to the hospital’s web site. The public can find the current waiting time on a banner near the top of our homepage. The wait time information can also be accessed through any mobile device.

Visitors to other emergency rooms and urgent care sites in Rhode Island have no way of knowing how long it will take to be seen. These waits can often run into several hours as busy emergency rooms must prioritize access for seriously ill or injured patients. Dr. Child said the average wait times in the Fatima emergency department are less than 30 minutes.

“The stress of an emergency room visit can be quickly compounded by inordinately long waiting times,” said Dr. Child. “We have worked hard for over a year to develop state-of-the-art patient flow protocols to address patients’ concerns in a timely fashion at Fatima. Posting the wait times on the web is not just a promise; it is a commitment on our part that we will always have the patient experience at the forefront of our minds.”

This is only the latest innovation in the Fatima emergency department. Last year, Fatima and its sister hospital, Roger Williams Medical Center, became the first in Rhode Island to open elder-friendly emergency departments. Here, patients 65 years and older are treated in a separate area with numerous conveniences and a staff specially trained to meet the needs of seniors.

An affiliate of CharterCARE Health Partners, St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island is the corporate parent of Our Lady of Fatima Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital for Specialty Care. The Catholic health system operates 270 beds, employees more than 1,900 employees and has annual revenues in excess of $170 million.