Clinch Valley Health Displays Emergency Department Wait Times

October 7, 2019

Minutes matter when it comes to saving lives, and for this reason, Clinch Valley Health is committed to providing high quality emergency care, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to our community. Part of this commitment involves keeping our community informed; we want you to know who to call, when to call, when to seek emergency care, when to call 9-1-1, and other potentially life-saving information.

One specific way we are working to better inform you of our emergency care is through the regular publication of our average Emergency Department (ED) Wait Times. You may have noticed that we have our current ED average Wait Time displayed on our website ClinchValleyHealth.com. Our expectation is that this information will better inform you, if and when you need emergency care.

Meeting the benchmarks

To be eligible for this program, which is managed by our parent company, LifePoint Health, a leading healthcare company dedicated to Making Communities Healthier, Clinch Valley Health first had to meet a set of three criteria:                 

  • The ED must be open 24 hours each day.

  • The ED must have sustained an ED wait time for Arrival to Medical Screening Exam (MSE) at or less than the target wait time for two consecutive months, as verified by a monthly operations report.

  • The ED must have sustained an average ED Length of Stay (LOS) for discharged patients at or less than the target for two consecutive months, as verified by a monthly operations report.


    Because of the outstanding work our Emergency Department staff has done in meeting these criteria, I am pleased to report that we have maintained these expectations for the past 12 months. Going forward, we will continuously evaluate and modify our ED processes to help us continue meeting these targets, ensure the delivery of high quality emergency care, and keep this new line of communication open to our community.

How it’s calculated

When you see a time, such as 14 minutes, displayed on our website or on the billboard, it is important to understand that this is a four-hour rolling average. Each person who enters our Emergency Department is tracked through a computerized system. The person’s arrival time to the ED and “greet time”, which is the time when the patient is greeted by a physician or advanced practice provider (physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner), are used to calculate the average wait times. The computerized system automatically averages the most recent four-hour time period, which is updated every 15 minutes throughout the day.

What to expect

The average wait time is accurate, reliable and regularly updated. However, due to the natural flux in patient volume, it is possible for a person to experience a shorter, or longer, wait time in our Emergency Department than what is displayed on the signage. Furthermore, patients are prioritized based on severity of the complaint or reason for the visit. This is why we use the four-hour rolling average; it minimizes variance by factoring in the natural ebb and flow of emergency departments.

At Clinch Valley Health, our priority is to deliver quality care close to home for the people in our communities. We hope you find this new information helpful should you find yourself in the middle of a medical emergency.