Recent medical events like the COVID-19 pandemic have significantly changed the way many businesses operate. The veterinary industry is no exception. With social distancing measures in place, veterinary clinics and animal hospitals have had to adapt to new protocols to keep their staff and clients safe. One of the solutions that many clinics have adopted is curbside queuing and digital intake.
Curbside queuing and digital intake allow clinics to reduce contact between staff and clients while still providing high-quality veterinary care. In this blog post, we will discuss how curbside queuing and digital intake work and the benefits they offer for veterinary clinics and their clients.
Curbside queuing is a process where clients wait for their appointments in their cars instead of in the waiting room. When clients arrive for their appointments, they call the clinic to let them know they have arrived. The clinic staff then checks them in over the phone and asks them to wait in their car. The staff will then call or text the client when it is time for their appointment.
Digital intake is a process where clients provide information about their pets and their medical history online or through a mobile app. This information is then stored in the clinic’s electronic medical records system. Digital intake can include filling out forms, uploading documents, providing signatures for consent, and even sending pictures of the pet’s symptoms.
There are several benefits of using curbside queuing and digital intake for veterinary clinics and their clients.
Curbside queuing and digital intake can significantly improve a clinic’s efficiency. By having clients wait in their cars, the clinic can reduce the number of people in the waiting room, which can help staff members move through appointments more quickly. Additionally, digital intake can help speed up the check-in process, as clients can provide information online before their appointment.
One of the primary benefits of curbside queuing and digital intake is that they help reduce contact between staff members and clients. By having clients wait in their cars, there is less chance of transmission of infectious diseases. Additionally, digital intake can help reduce the amount of time clients spend in the clinic, further reducing the risk of exposure.
Curbside queuing and digital intake can also increase safety for both staff members and clients. By reducing contact and the number of people in the waiting room, there is less chance of transmission of infectious diseases. Additionally, staff members can wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while interacting with clients, further reducing the risk of exposure.
Curbside queuing and digital intake can also improve the client experience. By allowing clients to wait in their cars, they can avoid crowded waiting rooms and potentially stressful interactions with other pets. Additionally, digital intake can help clients provide more detailed information about their pets, which can help veterinarians provide more accurate diagnoses and treatment recommendations.
Finally, curbside queuing and digital intake can be more convenient for clients. By allowing them to wait in their cars, they can avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot and carrying their pets into the clinic. Additionally, digital intake can save clients time by allowing them to provide information about their pets before their appointment.
Curbside queuing and digital intake are two solutions that many veterinary clinics have adopted to keep their staff and clients safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. These solutions offer several benefits, including improved efficiency, reduced contact, increased safety, improved client experience, and convenience. While these solutions were initially implemented due to the pandemic, they may become a permanent fixture in the veterinary industry as clinics continue to prioritize the safety and well-being of their staff and clients.
At ER Express, we designed our curbside queuing and digital intake solutions with both your staff’s and your patients’ experiences in mind. To learn more, schedule a demo with us today.
In today’s fast-paced healthcare landscape, people expect instant gratification and streamlined processes. Patients want to receive quality care without waiting for hours in crowded waiting rooms, and that’s where patient queuing automation comes into play.
Patient queuing automation is the use of technology to manage patient queues in healthcare settings. By automating the patient queuing process, clinics and hospitals can reduce wait times, improve patient satisfaction, optimize the use of resources, and ensure better patient safety. It’s a win-win situation for healthcare providers and patients alike.
In the past, healthcare organizations relied on paper-based systems and manual processes to manage patient queues. These methods were inefficient and often led to long wait times, confusion, and frustration for patients. With the advancement of technology, clinics and hospitals have found ways to improve the patient experience by automating the patient queuing process.
One of the most notable benefits of patient queuing automation is the significant improvement in patient satisfaction. No one likes to wait for hours in a crowded waiting room, and automated patient queuing systems help to mitigate this problem by prioritizing patients based on their urgency and notifying them when their turn is approaching. By reducing the time patients spend waiting, they can receive timely care and leave the clinic feeling satisfied with their experience.
Another critical benefit of patient queuing automation is a more efficient use of resources. Automated patient queuing systems help clinics optimize the use of their resources by allocating staff efficiently and reducing idle time. This, in turn, increases the number of patients served without increasing staffing costs, resulting in improved clinic operations and revenue.
Thirdly, patient queuing automation reduces the administrative burden of managing patient queues. With automated systems, the process of scheduling appointments, managing wait times, and notifying patients of any changes in their appointments becomes streamlined. The staff can focus more on patient care, and patients receive timely updates about their appointments, leading to greater convenience and satisfaction.
Automated systems ensure that patients are seen in the correct order, reducing the risk of errors and oversights. Medical history and information are accurately recorded and updated, and patients can receive more personalized care. These processes ensure that everyone receives equal attention, protecting your operational accuracy and your facility’s reputation with its local customer base.
Lastly, patient queuing automation provides valuable data that can be used to improve the quality of care. Clinics can identify trends, monitor patient flow, and improve the efficiency of clinic operations. By collecting and analyzing data, urgent care decision-makers can enhance the patient experience and optimize their operations.
Several technologies can be used to automate the patient queuing process, such as:
Choosing the right patient queuing automation solution is critical for urgent cares. Not all systems are created equal, and each healthcare facility has its own unique needs and requirements. Here are some important factors to consider when selecting the right patient queuing automation solution for an urgent care clinic:
At ER Express, we designed our digital patient queuing solution with both your staff’s and your patients’ experiences in mind. From low-contact access to digitized sign-ins, automated text communications, and more, you can better set and manage expectations at your urgent care with confidence that you can more effectively stabilize capacity and workload at your facility.
To learn more, schedule a demo with us today.
Addressing the challenges associated with patient flow in urgent care is a common need, but also a crucial priority for efficient service delivery and the overall patient experience. While the volume of patient requests is generally beyond the control of urgent care facilities, administrators possess the power to implement strategies that streamline patient flow, from check-in to check-out.
Today, we will outline some of the most common patient flow obstacles and explore some practical solutions to enhance efficiency and patient satisfaction within the urgent care environment. Let’s start with the unpredictability of patient volume.
One of the most significant patient flow challenges in urgent care is the unpredictability of patient volume. Unanticipated surges can put immense pressure on resources, leading to overworked staff and disgruntled patients. Without enough staff on-hand during peak hours, patients may leave the waiting room before being seen or simply decide not to check-in.
Solution: Incorporate Advanced Analytics and Forecasting
Implementing an advanced data analytics system can provide the insights that you need to accurately schedule your team at your facility to manage patient flow. Analytics can help predict patient volume based on historical data, local events, or even weather patterns. Accurate forecasting also aids in staffing adjustments to meet demand and ensures adequate resource allocation, thereby reducing wait times and improving patient throughput.
Communication breakdowns can lead to bottlenecks in patient flow. Whether it’s between different departments or between the staff and patients, a lack of clear communication can significantly hamper efficiency.
Solution: Implement Coordinated Communication Systems
Efficient communication systems are integral to streamlined patient flow. Integrated technology like Electronic Health Records (EHRs) can foster better coordination between departments. Similarly, communication tools that update patients about their wait times or the next steps in their care can enhance transparency and patient satisfaction.
A well-managed triage process is essential for urgent care facilities due to the varying urgency of patient needs. An ineffective triage system can lead to inefficiencies and potential compromises in patient care.
Solution: Streamline the Triage Process
Implementing a robust, algorithm-based triage system can ensure patients are promptly seen according to their medical urgency. Moreover, continuous staff training on the system can ensure its optimal utilization, facilitating effective patient flow.
Lengthy check-in and check-out procedures can slow down patient flow, cause congestion, and lead to dissatisfaction.
Solution: Digitize Check-In and Check-Out Processes
Digitizing these processes can drastically cut down time, thus accelerating the movement of patients throughout the cycle of a visit. Self-service kiosks or mobile forms for check-in, automated payment systems, and digital discharge instructions can make these processes faster and more patient-friendly.
An inadequate follow-up system can impact the overall patient experience and possibly lead to return visits, adding to the patient flow.
Solution: Enhance Follow-Up Procedures
Consider implementing a systematic approach to follow-ups using automated patient engagement systems like SMS messaging and automated email. These systems can send reminders for follow-up appointments or medication refills, reducing the possibility of unnecessary return visits.
While patient flow management in urgent care comes with its unique set of challenges, innovative strategies, and the right tools can significantly enhance efficiency and patient satisfaction. Administrators have the potential to turn these challenges into opportunities for improvement. A focus on forecasting, communication, triage efficiency, digitization, and robust follow-ups can ensure smoother patient journeys, ultimately driving the success of the urgent care facility.
If you are looking to enhance the way that your own urgent care manages the flow of patients, request a demo with our team at ER Express today to learn more about how our software solutions can be used to provide a better experience for your patients while reducing administrative burden on your staff at the same time.