ER Waiting Times Up Across The Country - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

ER Waiting Times Up Across The Country

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - A new study shows people are now waiting twice as long to see a doctor in the emergency room.

The Centers for Disease Control reports from 1996 to 2006 the average patient wait time doubled across the country. Wait time went from 32 minutes to 56 minutes.

The study cites the growing population and claims there aren't as many emergency rooms to go around. 

"The growth in the population the aging in the population, people are getting, the largest segment of the population is getting older and as you get older the need for health care services increases," said Jim Hall, Spokesperson, Kadlec Medical Center.

Hall said Kadlec is seeing double the number of ER visits. To keep up, Kadlec is staffing more doctors during peak times, assessing patients right at the door, and placing treatment orders right from hospital beds.