How ER Wait Times are Displayed

Many of you have seen the billboards posted along I-15 promoting the ER wait times for our family of MountainStar hospitals. If you haven’t seen them yet you must have just moved here, or never travel along I-15. They stretch from Ogden to Spanish Fork, and their glowing red numbers update travelers about the number of minutes the average patient waits from entering the doors of the ER until being greeted by a medical professional.

Sometimes these waits are short, and sometimes they are longer, but the question we hear most often is, “Are those times real?” In short, yes. Wait times are updated every 30 minutes and based on a four-hour rolling average. At all times, however, patients are seen in priority order, based on their complaint when they come in the door. So, if you come in with chest pain or a head injury, you will likely move ahead of the kid who got his hand stuck in the pickle jar.

Wait times are updated on our billboards and Web site via an RSS satellite feed, which means they are accurate at any time of the day or night.

But the ultimate objective in publishing these wait times is transparency. At MountainStar, we want you to know that we are so committed to keeping our wait times low that we are willing to put them on display for the whole Wasatch Front to see. They keep us accountable, and show you that we are here to serve you – in good times and bad.

While you hopefully don’t spend enough time in the ER to know what a good or a bad wait time is, we can assure you that our commitment pushes us to be better. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the national average wait time is one hour.

However, just five years ago MSNBC reported that Utah was one of the worst states in the country for ER wait times, at four hours and five minutes! That puts the 23 minute wait you saw on your commute home in perspective, doesn’t it?

For more information on our wait times, visit


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