News Seton Drops Scheduling Fee in Eight Emergency Rooms

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AUSTIN, Texas - (May 11, 2012) - More and more Central Texans with minor emergencies have chosen the comforts of home for as long as possible before heading to a Seton hospital emergency room to seek medical attention. Now, they can do it free of charge.

Since 2011, a growing number of Seton hospitals have been offering the option of scheduling times to be seen in the emergency room on SetonER.com, paying a nominal $4.99 fee to InQuicker, a private company providing the online service. The popularity of the service is growing and is expected to increase further now that Seton and InQuicker have agreed to stop charging the scheduling fee, effective immediately.

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SetonER.com is available at Seton Medical Center Austin, Seton Northwest Hospital, Seton Southwest Hospital and University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin; Seton Medical Center Hays in Kyle; Seton Medical Center Williamson in Round Rock; Seton Highland Lakes Hospital in Burnet; and Seton Edgar B. Davis Hospital in Luling.

Because emergency rooms treat patients in order of severity (a process called "triage"), patients with non-life threatening medical conditions can wait for an hour or more while those who arrive with more severe injuries or ailments get priority.

SetonER.com is designed for people with a sprained ankle, twisted knee or the like. It ensures most of the waiting can be done at home, allowing patients to better manage their own time and deal with related needs, like getting a baby sitter or finishing dinner.
A patient can be as comfortable as possible for as long as possible and still see a doctor in a timely manner.

InQuicker reports that, nationwide, nine out of 10 users are seen within 15 minutes of their appointment times. If the scheduled time needs to be changed due to, for example, a major traffic accident sending multiple victims to the emergency room, the patient is notified and a new scheduled time is made.

InQuicker also searches for certain symptom key words patients type in while making a reservation that may indicate a life-threatening medical situation exists. The reservation also is reviewed quickly by a Seton health care professional. If necessary, steps are taken to contact 911 or direct the patient to immediately go to the nearest emergency room, even if it isn't located in a Seton hospital.

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