HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Whether it is stomach pains or a broken arm, patients in the emergency room expect to be treated quickly.
"Yes, there's nothing more frustrating than waiting in the ER," Hattiesburg resident Matt Martin said. "Especially when you're going there for immediate care."
Martin said in his most recent trip to the ER at Merit Health Wesley in Hattiesburg was much different than his past visits.
"Got in, got out," Martin said. "You feel like you're being taken care of and being really respected as a person and a patient."
In August, the hospital launched a 30-Minutes-or-Less ER Service Pledge.
The pledge makes sure ER patients will be seen by a doctor or health care provider within 30 minutes of their arrival.
"Since we've launched this back in August, we have actually averaged under the 30 minutes," ER Director Dixie Norris said.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the average ER wait time is 30 minutes, but can last for hours at a time for various reasons.
"It could be due to staffing in some facilities," Norris said. "It could be due to the amount of ambulance patients that you may be getting in that particular day."
Merit Health Wesley said the pledge does not hinder the quality of a patient's care, nor will it affect a change in his or her billing.
"We're not about rushing people through the emergency room," Norris said. "We just want it to be more efficient and more patient satisfying."
Going forward, the hospital said it will continue to monitor staff scheduling and the influx of patients in order to maintain the pledge.
For a list of the average wait times at a hospital near you, use the ER Wait Watcher.