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Gilbert Hospital Turns the Tables on the Flu
Date:2/18/2008

GILBERT, Ariz., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by Gilbert Hospital:

12-hour emergency care wait times? Ambulance diversion? Crowded emergency departments? Reports and articles over this past weekend point out that patients should expect longer emergency department wait times (in excess of 12 hours according to some hospitals) and that more than one third of area hospitals were to divert ambulances from bringing more patients to their hospital(s). In fact, it was reported that state health officials urged people not to seek emergency department services due to emergency room overcrowding, especially if experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Further information was released stating that besides the flu, other contributing factors for ER overcrowding are: more winter visitors, general population growth, the uninsured and people utilizing emergency rooms as their primary source of healthcare. Gilbert Hospital is reminding everyone that, regardless of the amount of patients it sees or the number of winter visitors or those who feel they have little choice but to visit the emergency room, its hospital will remain focused on Door to Doc in 31 Minutes. "Have you tried getting into your primary care physician?" the question posed by David S. Wanger, Gilbert Hospital's Chief Executive Officer. "They'll see you two weeks from next Thursday... but they'll also tell you to go to the emergency room if you feel it is an emergency," Wanger continued. "We're prepared for that, every single day."

Over the weekend, Gilbert Hospital saw a nearly 20% increase in emergency room patient visits, yet still realized an average wait time of only 10 minutes and 44 seconds. And, while other hospitals in the area cite the reasons and reiterate the excuses for their prolonged ER wait times, Gilbert Hospital proves it can meet the demand and keep up with the forces that seem to cause other facilities emergency departments to wilt.

"While this flu season is certainly increasing patient volume, it is not reducing our ability to see and treat our patients in a reasonable and acceptable amount of time," stated Dr. Tim Johns, Founder and Medical Director of Gilbert Hospital. "This hospital will never go on diversion. Ambulances and the EMS crews need a place to bring patients so they can get back out on the streets and help more people. Diversion at Gilbert Hospital is simply unacceptable. We're already working in unconventional ways to make sure the patients who come through our doors are treated quickly and efficiently and with a great amount of care. This flu season is no different," continued Johns.

About Gilbert Hospital

Located at 5656 S. Power Rd., a half mile south of Ray Rd., Gilbert Hospital (http://www.gilberter.com) is an, acute-care general hospital with 24/7 services including emergency; expanded in-patient; diagnostic imaging; pharmacy; laboratory; and surgery services. Designated as a Level II trauma center, Gilbert Hospital provides health care services to the communities located throughout the east and southeast valley. Initial evaluations of all patients by a Board certified emergency physician begins within 31 minutes of arrival.


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SOURCE Gilbert Hospital
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