Humorous radio spot informs public about other options

This is the radio public service announcement that Baptist Memorial Health Care in Memphis, TN, uses to educate the public about alternatives to using the ED for nonurgent care:

A radio teaser for a prime-time TV drama. Dramatic music throughout. Sound effects: EKG beeps.

Network announcer: Tonight. A shocking night that no one in the emergency room will forget.

Cut to ED sounds.

Staff: (Sound effects: Crashing through doors with gurney.) We’ve got a sneezer! Severe nasal congestion!

Sound effects: Beeps and other sounds to simulate a busy ED.

Doctor: (To staff) Temperature: 99.5! Advanced stuffiness. Let’s go people. Move!

Announcer: And as Dr. Fischer faces the case of his career, Brenda will have to make a critical decision.

Doctor: (To staff) Tissue!

Brenda: Is one of these pink ones OK?

Doctor: Did I ask for a product test? Tissue!

Announcer: OK. Well, maybe it doesn’t sound all that exciting. But it is shocking. The majority of the nation’s emergency rooms experience congestion, and more than half report use by people with nonemergency conditions. Colds and flu are best treated by your doctor or in a minor medical facility. So this winter, let’s help emergency rooms focus on real emergencies.

Cut back to TV ED.

Doctor: Clear! (Patient blows nose.) Clear! (Patient blows nose.)

New announcer: This has been brought to you by the Tennessee Hospital Association, the Mississippi Hospital Association, the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department, and Baptist Memorial Health Care.