BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Dignity Health hospitals Memorial, Mercy Southwest and Mercy Downtown are offering an online service that allows people to wait to see a doctor, not in the emergency room, but the comfort of their home.
"Patients like it. It's better to wait at home in your own house, if you can, and if you come into the emergency room we’re expecting you, and we know you’re coming,” said Jenny Wilson, the Director of emergency services at Memorial Hospital.
The service is not meant for life-threatening emergencies - emergencies involving pregnant women, trauma accidents, heart attacks, chest pains, or stroke symptoms.
So, what types of emergencies are appropriate for the online wait service InQuicker?
"Primarily for flus," said Wilson. "Maybe you twisted your ankle and your foot's a little swollen."
Here's how it works: Go to www.choosemercymemorial.org, hit the "InQuicker" tab, select your hospital and the time you'd like to check in, fill in a quick form, and sit back in the comfort of your home until your selected time to see a doctor.
If there is an influx of critical patients in the ER during your expected arrival time, the hospital will contact the patient.
"You will get a get a voice message, and you will also get a text stating that your treatment time has been pushed back one hour due to influx of patients,” said Wilson.
Children under the age of 3 are not eligible for the online InQuicker system. Doctors warn that emergencies with toddlers and babies are always urgent because of their young age.