Note: This article is about one of the wide-ranging capabilities of the ERtexting service. The billboards described within this article are prominently positioned about the South Florida (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Palm Beach) metro area. Note how ERtexting has paid off for the hospitals featured within this article.
A link to the actual news footage of this story follows.
Aventura, FL- An unexpected industry is taking over roadside billboards.
“Emergency room waiting times just 4 minutes at Aventura Hospital,” reads a billboard that hovers over U.S. 1 in Aventura.
“The number on the billboard is refreshed every 30 minutes, so it is quite accurate,” Gabriel Perez told Local 10′s Jonathan Vigliotti.
Perez created the technology that calculates the wait time and beams it electronically to the road.
“The program calculates from the moment a patient signs in at the hospital to when the doctor visits him in the room,” Perez said.
The high-tech billboard marks the hospital’s three-year effort to streamline emergency room care. Doctors said it is part advertisement, part bragging rights.
“In that time span, we’ve gone from a waiting time of sometimes more than an hour, which is the national average, to a new average of 10 minutes,” said Dr. Roman Skylar.
Skylar, who works in the emergency room at Aventura Hospital, said in the year since the billboard has been up, ER visits have increased by 25 percent.
South Florida doctors said in today’s growing medical market, patients have many hospital options.
“A lot of hospitals are trying to increase patient volume for themselves,” said Mount Sinai Dr. David Lang.
About a year ago, Mt. Sinai erected a billboard about a block away from Aventura Hospital’s ad. Mount Sinai’s sign boasts 24/7 care and board-certified doctors.
“People will choose to go where they have better medical service, better medical care, where they have better doctors on staff. Most people that go to ERs drive themselves. Signs like this stay in the minds of drivers who pass them regularly,” Lang said.
Representatives said that Mount Sinai Hospital, like Aventura Hospital, has seen an increase in patients since the billboard went up a year ago — 40 percent over the previous year, according to Dr. Lang.
Both hospitals agree if it’s a true emergency, forget the billboard and drive to the nearest emergency room. But they said that when it comes to medical care, you’ve got options.