Maryland has longest ER wait times in the nation: report

New data reveals the longest emergency room wait time is right here in the DMV.

Marylanders told FOX 5 they have had to wait hours and hours before getting admitted to an emergency room, and they say it’s ridiculous.

Time is of the essence when there’s an emergency. How quickly a patient is treated can be the difference between life and death. 

Dr. Paulette Hunter, a former Prince George’s County paramedic, is fed up that Maryland has the longest emergency room wait time in the nation.

"I'm furious. I'm upset because I've experienced it and I know firsthand it's unacceptable," Dr. Hunter said.

According to Becker’s Hospital Review, the average wait time in a Maryland emergency room is 3 hours and 48 minutes.

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Dr. Hunter says her husband was recently in and out of consciousness, so they dialed 911, an ambulance came, but no hospital in Maryland could treat him right away because there was no space.

Hunter says she and her husband had to travel to Virginia to seek medical attention. 

"I'm angry," she said. "And that is why I am writing a letter to my congressman, to my senator, to the governor, to the county executive, because something has to be done."

Adrian Jennings is a hospital management expert and chief product officer for Cognosos — a technology company working to make emergency wait times shorter. He told FOX 5 that hearing a hospital say they're completely booked can be "frustrating."

"And what's more frustrating is not just long wait times, but being told your wait will be about this long, but having it be much longer even than expectation," he said.

While staffing shortages contribute to the problem, Jennings says it also has to do with hospitals wasting time trying to locate essential medical devices and equipment that are mismanaged and spread throughout the facility.