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Find out ER and PrimeCare wait times before leaving home

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.-- Novant Healthcare the parent company of Forsyth Medical Center, Kernersville Medical Center and PrimeCare offices in Winston-Salem and Greensboro is now posting real-time wait times for emergency rooms and PrimeCare offices on-line.

The healthcare company says the idea behind is to help patients make better choices about where to go for what symptoms and whether it's best to go to the emergency room or other facility for your ailments.

Senior Director of Emergency Services at Forsyth Medical Center, Richard Lee says it will also help free up emergency beds if patients are better informed about what is appropriate for the e-r and what is best handled in a PrimeCare setting.

"Over the last several years our volume has increased with customers seeking primary healthcare. This will give you a choice of emergency services or primecare and it will include common signs and symptoms that help drive those decisions," said Lee.

The website uses a computer program that monitors patient arrival, intake and discharge times and then estimates a new wait time every 5 minutes. 

The website also posts a 24 hour hotline number for people to call and speak with a nurse practitioner  who can help them make the right decision.

Lee says, "we've looked at every piece of the puzzle and tried to see what we can do to get that patient in and home as quickly as possible."

To see the wait times and find out more check out