People are silhouetted as they pose with mobile devices in front of a screen projected with a Facebook logo..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Facebook has a new medical use: For the first time in Israel, Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center has begun to update the general public on queues in its emergency department via the social medium.
Overcrowding in the emergency rooms in general hospitals around the country is common, especially in the winter months with patients suffering from flu complications.
But the waiting period to be seen by a doctor is longer in some hospitals than others.
As a public service, Rambam is now posting its waiting times on its Facebook page so patients and their families can go when it is more convenient if it is not a very urgent case.
According to hospital director- general Prof. Rafael Beyar, the new service is an “integral part of coping with the problem that has become routine.
When a person needs to get to the hospital, he can first go into Facebook from any computer or smartphone and understand the situation at any given moment.
“It will help him make decisions, of course, when the case is not a medical emergency.
We are doing all we can to cope with seasonal pressures and give the best care possible,” said Beyar.
Transparency for the public is important, he said. Knowing in advance how long it will take to get care can save some the anger and frustration of waiting, he added.
Other hospitals with Facebook pages are expected to follow suit.