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Emergency Department Waiting Times (EDWaT): A Patient Flow Management and Quality of Care Rating mHealth Application.

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  • 1College of Public Health and Health Informatics, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS), National Guard Health Affairs (NGHA), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


Saudi hospital emergency departments (ED) have suffered from long waiting times, which have led to a delay in emergency patient care. The increase in the population of Saudi Arabia is likely to further stretch the healthcare services due to overcrowding leading to decreased healthcare quality, long patient waits, patient dissatisfaction, ambulance diversions, decreased physician productivity, and increased frustration among medical staff. This will ultimately put patients at risk for poor health outcomes. Time is of the essence in emergencies and to get to an ED that has the shortest waiting time can mean life or death for a patient, especially in cases of stroke and myocardial infarction. In this paper, we present our work on the development of a mHealth Application - EDWaT - that will: provide patient flow information to the emergency medical services staff, help in quick routing of patients to the nearest hospital, and provide an opportunity for patients to review and rate the quality of care received at an ED, which will then be forwarded to ED services administrators. The quality ratings will help patients to choose between two EDs with the same waiting time and distance from their location. We anticipate that the use of EDWaT will help improve ED wait times and the quality of care provision in Saudi hospitals EDs.

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