News Seton Smithville Becomes 9th Hospital to Offer ER Reservations

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SMITHVILLE, Texas - (Dec. 18, 2012) - Next time you need to go to the emergency room in Bastrop County, you can take a number and wait in line - or you can wait at home and hold your place online.

Patients with minor emergencies may choose the comforts of home for as long as possible before heading to the Seton Smithville Regional Hospital ER waiting room to seek medical attention. Seton Smithville now is part of SetonER.com, a free, online service that allows you to designate an arrival time at the hospital's emergency room and be seen within 15 minutes of that time.

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

"SetonER.com is designed for people experiencing non-life threatening medical conditions such as a sprained ankle or twisted knee. This way, they can better manage their own time and deal with related needs, like getting a baby sitter or finishing dinner," said Grady Hooper, Seton Smithville vice president and chief operating officer.

Because emergency rooms treat patients in order of severity (a process called "triage"), patients with non-life threatening conditions can wait for an hour or more while those who show up with more severe injuries or ailments get priority. SetonER.com ensures most of that waiting can be done at home.

"You can be as comfortable as possible for as long as possible and still see a doctor as soon as possible," Hooper said.

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

InQuicker also searches for certain key words when patients type in information about their conditions while making reservations, to determine if a life-threatening medical situation exists. The new reservation also is reviewed within minutes 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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