More Hospitals Advertise Shorter Patient Wait Times for Their Emergency Departments

New trend pressures clinical pathology laboratories to shorten turnaround times for key lab tests

Anyone who says there’s not much competition for patients has ignored the marketing battle among hospitals to attract patients to their emergency departments (EDs). In a growing number of cities, major hospitals now aggressively advertise guarantees of ever-shorter wait times in their EDs. This trend has a direct impact on clinical pathology laboratories because they must improve turnaround time (TAT) on lab test results to support faster patient care in EDs.

Using the promise of faster patient access to a doctor in the ED is a fascinating phenomenon. It shows that patients do recognize the difference in service they get from hospitals in their community. (Note to our pathology and laboratory friends in the United Kingdom, where lengthy patient wait times are often an issue: here’s an example of how America’s patients’ desire for better faster access to medical care can provide competitive advantage to the American hospital that provides such access.) (more…)