Lillington is a community of approximately 3,346 people and is located on the banks of the Cape Fear River in central North Carolina. Geographically, it is located halfway between Raleigh and Fayetteville. The five county area surrounding Lillington and Harnett County is primarily rural and dependable health care is a priority.
Recognizing the need for a state of the art hospital, Harnett County’s government took on the largest capital project in the county’s history and built the $56 million Central Harnett Hospital. The hospital is managed by Harnett Health in Dunn, NC and opened its doors on January 18, 2013. The facility has a staff of 225 well qualified and trained employees, including doctors and nurses qualified in a wide range of specialties to meet patients’ needs. The hospital also has 50 beds for inpatient care, an outpatient clinic and most importantly, a fully equipped and staffed emergency room.
One January 9, 2014, Central Harnett Hospital added a new and innovative service to its emergency room — ER Express. ER Express is a computerized and website based program that allows individuals in need of non-life-threatening emergency room services to go online to reserve a time slot to be seen at the hospital. The potential patient can select a time that works best and remain at home until it is time to go to the hospital. The time slot is confirmed by return email and patients can expect to be seen within 15 minutes of their scheduled time.
It is not unusual to wait four hours and longer to be seen in an emergency room. At the Lillington NC emergency room, the ER Express concept, introduced in November 2011, makes it possible for patients with non-life-threatening conditions to bypass extended ER waiting times, be seen at a more convenient time and be treated quicker. The Atlanta based company’s program has experienced wide approval from hospitals and patients as it has been implemented in hospital emergency rooms nationwide. The privately owned company is owned by experienced emergency medicine professionals and expects to add more hospital ER operations over time.
ER Express is one of the latest in a continuing string of technological innovations within the medical community that make hospital visits simpler, faster and less intimidating. The acceptance and implementation of programs like ER Express in both small and large hospitals also improves the efficiency of an emergency room’s functioning by giving ER staff greater ability to predict the number of patients being seen. In the case of smaller hospitals like Central Harnett that serve a five county area, it becomes easier and reassuring for rural patients who drive a longer distance to know that they will be seen quickly.
Lillington’s Central Harnett Hospital is an excellent example of how quality medical care is being brought to more rural areas in need of fully equipped hospitals that can support community needs. The addition of the ER Express program enhances and improves the emergency room function while also ensuring that patients across the entire range of medical priorities can be seen quickly and receive proper care.
This article is sponsored by ER Express