Avoid Waiting in the Emergency Room

With cold and flu season upon us, you may find yourself or someone you love in need of urgent medical attention. Hopefully, the need arises on a weekday when...

read more

Helping Women Pamper Themselves

For Brooke Knadle, it all started with a vacation treat, courtesy of her husband. "We were in New York City and my husband said, 'I got you a hair appointment...

read more

Answers to Your Questions

Enrollment for Covered California – the Affordable Care Act marketplace for residents of California – is now open. The enrollment period began November 15 and will...

read more

Avoid Waiting in the Emergency Room


With cold and flu season upon us, you may find yourself or someone you love in need of urgent medical attention. Hopefully, the need arises on a weekday when your primary care doctor can see you, but unfortunately more often than not severe illness and injury seems to strike on the weekends or late at night long after the doctor's office is closed. In these cases, a trip to the ER may be your only option.

Fortunately, a visit to the ER does not have to include long, uncomfortable hours in the waiting room like in years past. Now, Dignity Health is offering residents throughout the Sacramento region a solution – it's called InQuicker™ and it's reinventing the way patients access emergency and urgent care services.

With InQuicker, a patient can check-in for a projected treatment time at one of Dignity Health's five Sacramento area hospitals – Mercy General Hospital; Mercy San Juan Medical Center; Methodist Hospital of Sacramento; Mercy Hospital of Folsom; and Woodland Memorial Hospital. The patient simply logs onto the hospital's website and selects a time. When the patient arrives at the hospital or urgent care center at the designated time, the patient will be promptly seen by a health care professional.

Once a prospective patient receives a projected treatment time on the website, he or she can wait at home rather than sitting in the waiting room. That can be an immeasurable benefit to someone who is in pain or sick. When the patient arrives at their designated time, it is the hospital's commitment to make sure that the patient is seen within 15 minutes of their scheduled time.

InQuicker™ is not an appointment or reservation service, as the nature of emergency rooms does not allow for the scheduling of medical treatment. InQuicker™ estimates treatment times based on current facility conditions and allows its users to wait from the comfort of their home, rather than the waiting room. Because there may be unforeseen circumstances that may cause projected treatment time delay the InQuicker™ users may be sent notifications via phone call and email so they can continue waiting at home.

It is important to note that InQuicker™ is intended only for individuals with non-life-threatening or debilitating medical conditions. It's a simple and convenient way for people with busy lives and families to conveniently access care.

If you're in doubt about the severity of your condition, you should always seek immediate care by calling 9-1-1 or by going to the nearest emergency room.

To learn more about InQuicker or to select a treatment time at a local ER, visit the website of the Sacramento area Dignity Health Emergency Departments.

Return to top

Better Gifts for Kids

Shopping for kids can be fun – seeing the toys and games and dolls lining the aisles of the toy store can transport you back to your own childhood. Unfortunately, when...

read more

Fight Back Against Winter Illness

Cold and flu season is here and unfortunately, at some point this winter, most of us will have to endure some sort of illness. In fact, most American adults....

read more

Give the Gift of Ice Cream Sundaes!

This month, in honor of the holidays, we are sharing recipes that can double as wonderful gifts to your family and friends! These two recipes make for incredible...

read more

Better Gifts for Kids


Shopping for kids can be fun – seeing the toys and games and dolls lining the aisles of the toy store can transport you back to your own childhood. Unfortunately, when you walk those aisles today you will also a lot of less savory toys – video games focused on violence, toys made to look like weapons, dolls that may not promote healthy images of women and girls. December is Safe Toys Months, sponsored by Safe Kids Worldwide – a great time to consider whether the toys you are buying and gifting are safe and appropriate. This holiday season, whether you are shopping for your own children or children of friends and family, why not try to make an effort to buy healthy gifts? Toys and games that will enrich young minds, promote creativity and encourage healthy play. Here are a few ideas that may help while you shop...

First, choose toys that are appropriate for a child's age. Look for the age recommendation on the toy's packaging and then follow it. Sometimes that age recommendation has to do with safety – small parts can be dangerous for younger children. Sometimes it is because a younger child would not be able to "figure out" a toy and would not have fun with it. But often, that recommendation is because the toy is not appropriate for younger children. Regardless, heed the warning and don't buy toys meant for older children.

Second, pay attention to safety concerns. This means avoiding small parts or sharp edges on toys if you are shopping for a child less than elementary age. Avoid strings or straps longer than seven inches – they can be a strangulation risk for children as well as for pets. Moving parts can also be a concern for younger kids – fingers or clothing can get trapped. Also – think about the child's hearing safety. If a toy involves sounds or music – be sure it has a safety mechanism to prevent it from being too loud.

So once you determine what is appropriate and safe, what should you buy? For kids between the ages of one and three, consider simple toys like building blocks. Wooden blocks, plastic blocks, blocks with letters on them – all these can be fun and stimulating for toddlers. An added bonus? Toddlers can never have too many of these types of toys – this is truly a case of the more the merrier! Of course, if you want to stay on the parents' good side, it may be helpful to provide a good bin or carrying case for the blocks too!

For preschool age through elementary school kids, consider toys that promote either activity or creativity. Activity toys like scooters, skates, swings, jump ropes and even a basic rubber ball can all get kids moving – a wonderful thing in today's sedentary society. Of course, pay attention to safety and age recommendations and always provide whatever safety gear is recommended as well (helmets, knee and elbow guards, etc.). For creativity, a fresh box of crayons and a large paper tablet are fantastic at almost any age. Other great options include paints or chalk, as well as craft supplies – glue, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, etc. These sorts of tools can provide hours of fun at any age, while also stimulating young minds.

Finally, consider something that can engage the whole family like a deck of cards or a fun board game or a deck of "question and answer" cards. These activities are great for engaging children with their siblings and their parents. Anything that can get a family gathered around a table together, talking, laughing and just spending time together, is a great gift.

Return to top