Health care needs and the responses of the industry have changed greatly in recent years. Today doctors and hospitals are overburdened with a burgeoning number of patients. It’s estimated that by the year 2020, there will be a shortage of certified 24,000 physicians and over 1 million nurses. Still others say, with the right type of planning and better use of technology any predicted shortage can be avoided. One problem-solving newly introduced use of technology is First Choice ER.
How Does First Choice ER Work?
• Make an appointment for an emergency room visit online or by phone
• Only for non-life-threatening emergencies
• Treated by a board certified physician or ER Assistant or Nurse Practitioner
• If necessary, transfers to nearby hospitals always receive direct admission
• Available 24 hours/7 days a week
• Reduces in-hospital wait time to around 0-15 minutes
• Visit is part of an all-inclusive bill
How Does First Choice ER Improve the Patient’s Experience?
The concept of using customer feedback to obtain performance information has been adopted by most service businesses, including hospitals. Before instituting First Choice ER, hospitals were receiving very poor grades for performance when patients were asked about wait times. In large city hospitals the wait time was several hours and in hospitals located in smaller communities, often the wait time was just as long due to the hospital employing a smaller staff. Very few emergency rooms had wait times less than 45 minutes. By using technology to allow patients to make ER appointments, for many the wait time has been all but eliminated entirely.
By the time the patient arrives at the hospital, the staff is ready for that particular emergency. The patient is ushered into the triage room and quickly assigned an examination station within minutes of their appointment time. Specialists are present and ready to assume responsibility for the patient’s care. Equipment and testing services have been ordered in preparation for the patient’s arrival, so tests can be completed fast and the results can be included in the diagnoses. The whole process of patient intake, examination and testing are streamlined to help reach the ultimate conclusion. The ultimate conclusion is an accurate diagnosis, which leads to the proper treatment of the patient’s ailment and improved hospital efficiency.
Online Emergency Check-in Service
When access to emergency medical care includes online reservations and check-ins, it reduces the long waits in the hospital’s waiting room and expedites the emergency room process. First the patient makes a reservation and later, closer to the appointment time checks-in online also via an email confirmation. This confirmation is sent in response to a First Choice ER response to the original appointment sent as a reminder of the appointment time.
With everything streamlined, including the flow of information and preparation, hospital efficiency increases three-fold. With a few clicks of a Smartphone, tablet or computer, the patient can wait for their appointment in greater comfort, at home. At the patient’s hospital arrival for their appointment, they will immediately be received and treated by board certified physicians and/or trained medical personnel and there will be no extended wait times involved.
Article written by Katy Gillham.