Study finds ER wait times increase

January 15, 2008 9:58:08 AM PST
It seems as though more of the nation's emergency rooms are turning into waiting rooms.

A new Harvard study released Tuesday shows that from 1997 to 2004 the average wait time increased 36 percent, to 20 minutes.

Heart attack patients had the longest increase. Their wait time went from 8 to 20 minutes.

The authors of the study say such an increase will likely have a negative impact on patient care and may result in more people leaving the hospital without seeing a doctor.