When to Go to the Emergency Room (ER)

Emergencies are not always obvious, “get to an emergency room fast!” kind-of moments. Sometimes you find yourself worrying about crying wolf. But in that moment, making the decision to call 9-1-1 or go to an ER could save a life.

Bayshore Medical Center

Clear Lake Regional Medical Center

Conroe Regional Medical Center

East Houston Regional Medical Center

Kingwood Medical Center

The Woman's Hospital of Texas

Corpus Christi Medical Center

Mainland Medical Center

Pearland Medical Center

Rio Grande Regional Hospital

Valley Regional Medical Center

West Houston Medical Center

Emergency Room or Wait? Make the Right Call

So, when and how do you make the decision to head to an emergency room? Start by taking a look at the top reasons Texans visit HCA Gulf Coast hospital ERs or stand-alone 24-hour emergency centers in Houston, Pearland, Conroe, Corpus Christi, McAllen and your own backyard:

Evolving Emergency Services to Fit Real Life

There is a perception that waiting in a hospital emergency room is unavoidable. After all, the sickest people have to be seen first, which means everyone who can wait does just that, right?

View Wait Times & Locations

Not anymore. At HCA Gulf Coast hospitals and ERs, we challenged ourselves to let go of old ways and redesigned our emergency room services around how patients really use them. The result is a faster, more patient-friendly experience that provides medical treatment quickly and with the highest quality care.

How Fast is “Fast” for ER Wait Times?

How about 10 minutes? You shouldn’t have to wait longer than that. When you visit one of our 20 emergency rooms to be assessed by a qualified health professional, our goal is that you will be seen within 10 minutes of arrival. Of course, longer wait times can still happen, but our short ER wait times are proven to make a huge difference in the comfort and well-being of our patients. About ER Wait Times

ER Wait Times Stopwatch

Scan to Sign-In to the ER

You scan cards for everything these days, so why not to check-in to the emergency room? That was the idea behind the new ID scan kiosks at most HCA Gulf Coast hospitals. Just scan your license or government-issued ID in the kiosks for easy check-in and to lessen the paperwork you have to fill out in the waiting room.

This is just one example of the creative ways hospital emergency rooms and free-standing ERs across the HCA Gulf Coast system are finding to save you time and improve your overall patient experience.

The Fast Track for Emergency Room Treatment

At most emergency rooms, long wait times happen when sicker patients come in and bump you down the line. Not at HCA Gulf Coast ERs. Our specialized Intake Team (nicknamed Fast Track at some hospitals) makes sure you are seen quickly, regardless of the level of care you need.

After a quick check-in, you’ll meet our Intake Nurse who gathers information and determines what you need. If your illness or injury doesn’t require emergency monitoring (anything from a cut to a broken bone or even flu-like symptoms), you’ll be on the fast track. The Intake Team takes vitals, orders lab work, prescribes medications and gets you on your way quickly (or into an ER bed if further treatment is needed).

Our Intake Team is just one way HCA Gulf Coast ERs can see patients needing all levels of care quickly.

Focusing on Patients, Not Paperwork

That’s why most HCA Gulf Coast ERs are using medical scribes …

If you are in the emergency room for any reason, you want your medical team focusing on you, not your paperwork. Your medical team wants that too, but the increasing demands of medical documentation make it difficult. That’s why most HCA Gulf Coast ERs are using medical scribes to both better document patient care and make sure your doctor can focus on giving you that care.

Scribes are medical documentation specialists who have portable workstations and take notes while the physician talks to patients – kind of like your personal stenographer.

An added benefit? It helps the entire ER team transition more quickly from patient to patient, lessening the wait time for everyone.

Emergency Care: When and Where You Need Us View Wait Times & Locations

With 20 emergency rooms across the Gulf Coast region, you are never far from help when you need it. Use this site to get familiar with the most common reasons people across the greater Houston metro area and South Texas visit the ER. If you know the signs, you will know how and where to get help if needed.