A millennial’s trip to the ER reveals the key to hospital branding

Four factors a millennial health care editor considered in choosing urgent medical treatment—and social media presence wasn’t among them.

I went to the emergency room at a Chicago hospital last night.

Spoiler alert: I’m OK! Really. Don’t worry.

Here’s what happened:

Last evening, I was walking on Hubbard Street, and suddenly something flew against my left eyeball. It hurt, but my vision was normal and I made it through dinner with a friend without looking like I was having a nervous breakdown when the sushi came. But as soon as I got home and took out my contacts, I knew something was wrong.

I couldn’t open or close my eye without tremendous pain. Whatever had flown into my eye was more than just dust.

I knew I would have to become a patient.

First, I thought: I should try to be like e-patient Dave and Google my condition. I should learn the difference between a cornea and a retina. (Oh, yes, there is a difference.) I should come up with a list of questions to ask my doctor before I go in.

It’s hard to do research, though, with only one eye available for duty. Then, my second thought was: I should just get help.

So, if you ever wonder how a millennial chooses an ER during a non-emergency situation, here are the four factors I considered:

First, I called my best friend. I asked her if she knew anything about the hospital that was about five blocks away from where I live.

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