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How Long Can You Expect to Wait at the Emergency Room?

A quick analysis of wait times at Cook County’s 10 busiest ERs

An injured worker in the waiting room at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital   Photo: E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune

Wonder why emergency room wait times seem longer than ever? You can point a fractured finger at the Affordable Care Act, for one: 75 percent of ER docs say they’re seeing more patients post-ACA, according to a recent survey by the American College of Emergency Physicians. The upshot? Bring a book.

Hospital Average time before
seeing a doctor or nurse
Average time before
outpatients are sent home
ER visits
Ingalls Memorial Hospital
11 minutes
2 hours, 12 minutes
Northwest Community Hospital
Arlington Heights
20 minutes
2 hours, 50 minutes
MacNeal Hospital
22 minutes
2 hours, 7 minutes
National Average 28 minutes
2 hours, 22 minutes
Illinois Average 31 minutes
2 hours, 28 minutes
Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center
Ukrainian Village
37 minutes
2 hours, 46 minutes
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
38 minutes
3 hours, 51 minutes
Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
Park Ridge
41 minutes
3 hours
University of Chicago Medical Center
Hyde Park
54 minutes
4 hours, 14 minutes
Rush University Medical Center
Near West Side
1 hour, 5 minutes
3 hours, 54 minutes
Advocate Christ Medical Center
Oak Lawn
1 hour, 13 minutes
3 hours, 22 minutes
John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County
Near West Side
1 hour, 46 minutes
4 hours, 9 minutes
1. Fastest to admit inpatients: 4 hours, 9 minutes 2. 4.36 percent give up and leave 3. Quickest with pain meds for broken bones: 16 minutes 4. Slowest to admit inpatients: 8 hours, 8 minutes
Note: Data are from 2014, the most recent year available. Source: Illinois Department of Public Health


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