Get your phone ready! Rapides Regional Medical Center has launched its first Smartphone app, iTriage – and offers free, ER wait time texts sent straight to your phone. The Smartphone medical application, iTriage, contains information on more than 300 symptoms, 1,000 diseases and 350 medical procedures. It also lists the current Emergency Room wait times at Rapides Regional Medical Center—as well as a list of RRMC services, specialties, campus map and driving directions.
“The iTriage application is designed to help consumers make the most appropriate decision about their healthcare needs,” said Charla Ducote, Rapides Regional Medical Center’s vice president of marketing and business development. “And it’s information available to them when they can’t be in front of their computer. It’s information available on-the-go.” Consumers can download the free iTriage app for their iPhone, iPod touch, Android or Palm, or access the medical application at www.iTriageHealth.com. BlackBerry smartphone users will soon have their own iTriage application, as well.
iTriage was developed by two Colorado emergency physicians who wanted to give patients the ability to make informed decisions about their healthcare. For instance, if your child comes down with stomach pain, you can search iTriage “symptoms” and get a list of possible causes. From there, you can click on a list of procedures typically used to diagnose the condition. And finally, based on your specific medical problem, iTriage will tell you how to get in touch with the most appropriate physician or hospital and provides a list of physicians based on your zip code.
But that’s not all. If you’re considering a visit to the emergency room, but want to know how long the wait will be, we’ll send you a free text telling you just that. Just text the “ER” to 23000. You’ll then receive a message asking for your zip code. Once you respond, you will receive a message listing Rapides Regional Medical Center’s average ER wait time. Locally, this service covers zip codes in Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Evangeline, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, St. Landry, Vernon and Winn parishes.
“The national wait time average is one hour,” said David Williams, Rapides Regional Medical Center chief executive officer. “In most cases, we consistently rank below that. This morning, for example, our average wait time is 16 minutes.” Average wait times are based on a four-hour average wait time for patients with non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Patients with life-threatening symptoms are always seen immediately. “This technology allows patients will non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses to better determine when to visit the emergency room,” said Charla Ducote, vice president of marketing and business development. “But we also want to remind our patients to dial 911 if it is a true emergency.”