St. Joseph Medical Center, ER of choice for Mostyn family chest pain
St. Joe’s, ER of choice for Mostyn family chest pain

I apologize to my friends, both online and in real life, if I’ve been distracted this week. Normally, I’d blame it on excitement about my birthday, but those that have known me a long time realize that special occasions frequently require a trip to the Emergency Room (ER) so it may not be the type of excitement that you expect. Our family has been to the ER/hospital for my high school graduation, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Halloween, the day of our Christmas party, several family members’ birthdays and anniversaries, and even vacations are considered special occasions as far as ER visits are concerned! My first date with my husband, T2, was delayed due to an ER visit, so you would think that I wouldn’t be surprised by this.

Usually, Mostyn Medical Mayhem can be handled by a trip to Patient First, a local urgent care center. They’ve handled stitches, broken bones, allergic reactions, foreign objects in the eye, walking pneumonia, fevers of unknown origins, last-minute pre-operative testing, and even severe cases of the flu for the Mostyn clan. Friends jokingly ask if we’ve got a special room there, to which I respond politely that we do have special front row parking. (At the location we visit, almost all of the parking could be considered front row…) We’ve been there so often that one day when there was no one else waiting to be seen when we arrived, a nurse felt comfortable enough to tease me that if we had brought her coffee ice cream she would make sure we were first to be helped. They’re good people. They can treat routine medical problems, including taking x-rays, performing lab tests and blood work, writing and filling prescriptions, etc. and they get you in and out pretty quickly, but sometimes you just have to go to the Emergency Room.

One of the times when the ER is required is when chest pain is involved. My father-in-law (aka T1) had the family visiting him at St. Joseph Medical Center one Mother’s Day when he had his heart attack. They did a great job with him and so that is where T2 went earlier this week when he was having chest pains, even though he thought he knew it wasn’t his heart. You see, about 3 years ago, T2 had a hiatal hernia about the size of a lemon that was pushing up into his chest and making it difficult for him to breathe. He was having chest pains so bad that he was physically sweating from the pain. T2 gives that kind of pain an “8” on a scale of 1 to 10.

So when he called me earlier this week with a “6” pain level, I called his Gastroenterologist who told him to go to the ER and have them rule out heart problems. T2 got checked out at the ER, and his heart is healthy, so they’ll be doing an endoscopy and unless they find something unexpected he’ll be having surgery to repair it soon. (If you’re keeping count, this will be the 3rd time he’s had a hiatal hernia repaired…and this time they won’t be able to do it laproscopically so he’ll have a much bigger incision.)

So what does this have to do with Marketing? Well, other than the Medical Mayhem portion of my blog, the cool Marketing tool that I’ve gotten from this experience is a mobile ER Wait Time app that St. Joseph Medical Center has for determining how long you can expect to be in the waiting room before they are able to see you. Check it out here: St. Joe’s has shortened total time in the ER by 25% – and the average wait time to be seen is only 14 minutes! Good to know, but even better is knowing that if you’re having chest pains they’ll see you even faster than that!