A virtual waiting room adds immense value to any urgent care center’s operations. By streamlining many of the traditional in-person activities normally completed in a physical waiting room, patients can be seen more quickly and enjoy a better overall experience.
As medicine becomes an increasingly digital industry, patient expectations have also changed. For example, telemedicine allows patients to see a medical provider via video when it is most convenient for them. Usually, no more than an internet connection is required.
The immediate nature of digital healthcare has also impacted expectations for an in-person patient experience. Fewer patients are willing to spend long amounts of time waiting to be seen unless absolutely necessary.
By outfitting your urgent care with the right virtual waiting room technology, you can expand your capabilities to improve the patient experience with each visit.
A virtual waiting room is a software application that allows patients to complete many of the tasks traditionally completed in a physical waiting room, such as check-in and paperwork, from their own device. They can also do this well in advance of the visit or from the comfort of home or their vehicle.
Are you considering adding a virtual waiting room to your urgent care practice? If so, here are some of the top benefits of doing so:
Recent health trends, such as social distancing, have affected patients’ willingness to potentially expose themselves to people who are ill within a confined space. Some individuals may prefer to wait to be seen from a location where they feel more comfortable, such as their home or their car.
With a virtual waiting room, your patient can track the queue from their device without having to wait in your facility. Instead, they can relax in a space that is familiar and distanced from others and be ready to step inside when it is their time to be seen.
Beyond the ability to view a queue, sending real-time notifications through a virtual waiting room via SMS can also further enhance the patient experience. These notifications can alert patients when they are next in line to be seen or if the estimated wait time has changed.
With this feature, patients can more easily plan their day or evening around their anticipated visit to your urgent care. This transparent view can help them avoid any unnecessary surprises that could potentially impact their satisfaction.
Real-time notifications can also be used to send time slot reminders and confirmations. By keeping patients updated at each step of their virtual waiting room experience, you can further reduce any potential for frustration. This can also benefit your urgent care by reducing the number of no-shows.
With digital registration and consent forms, you can provide patients the means to provide more details about why they are visiting your urgent care. In turn, this equips your team with more insight into the reasons behind their visit.
This can help to improve the overall efficiency of your urgent care by allowing you to better triage patients as they come in. For example, if a patient is coming in for a cold, but it is clear from their registration form that they are also experiencing chest pain, your team can be more prepared to ask questions or perform an assessment.
Integrate with Your Telemedicine Services
Virtual waiting rooms are not strictly confined to in-person urgent care visits. They can also be used to support your telemedicine services.
With virtual waiting rooms, patients have the ability to check in for their virtual visit and fill out the necessary paperwork in advance. This allows them to be seen more quickly since your team will already have essential documentation like your registration and consent forms, insurance information, and payment method if they choose to pay with a credit or debit card.
Every major smart device offers a mobile wallet that allows users to store their credit and debit card information and pay directly from their phone or tablet. This creates a central place for them to access their payment methods without having to carry a physical wallet or spend time searching through it for the right card or to make sure they have enough cash on-hand.
Mobile wallets are growing in popularity due to the convenience they offer by enabling consumers to pay directly from their smart devices. A virtual waiting room can accept digital payments in place of a physical card or cash so that you can align your payment methods more closely with how your patients prefer to spend.
At ER Express, our team strives to continually innovate a better virtual waiting room solution for urgent care practices. We combine user interface best practices and high-performing technology to meet the real-world needs for both patients and providers.
To learn more about how you can enhance your urgent care’s virtual waiting room, contact us today to schedule a demo.