“Won’t patients in my lobby get mad when someone checks in at home and then shows up in the lobby?”
Many health systems face a psychological barrier to offering online check-in: “I know the patients who use it will love the convenience. But I’m afraid it will make all of my other patients mad because they think someone skipped the line.”
Our display board technology, which shows all patients in the lobby their place in line, now comes pre-loaded with a promotional ad that rotates in every 10 seconds.
This pre-installed ad:
This ad educates your patients on where they can find the online check-in option, helping to spread the word on its convenience. It also helps reduce the anxiety that walk-in patients may feel when they hear or see a patient enter the waiting room and announce “I made an online reservation.” It helps manage patient expectations and reduce the perception that other patients “skipped the line.”
Missouri-based Freeman Health recently implemented online check-in and digital patient queuing in two of their urgent care clinics. Freeman’s ‘Save My Spot’ strategy aimed to reduce wait times and bring in new patient volume. The queuing system automates patient expectations and gives staff much better control over influencing patient arrival patterns by throttling down time slots during their busiest hours and opening up slots during typically slower parts of the day.
Delivering new patient volume
Freeman Urgent Care Director Kayla Martinez summarizes the appeal of Save My Spot for her patients as something akin to “…call ahead seating at a restaurant, you can get your name in line and then do your waiting at home or in your office.”* Patients can plan out their visit at the time of day most convenient for them and avoid sitting in a waiting room when they’re not feeling well with other patients who may have contagious illnesses such as flu.
Patients immediately caught on to this idea. In the first two months:
Doubling the % of 5-star Google reviews
Freeman has also seen an immediate uptick in positive Google reviews. Patients consistently praised the convenience of the service. ER Express’ reputation management feature elicits patient feedback via SMS text and then prompts the happiest patients to share their feedback on Google. Good reviews based on the convenience of the service, as well as the use of our built-in text survey which prompts the happiest patients to leave their feedback on the Google for the facility they visited, have started rolling in as well. Case in point, Freeman Urgent Care at Webb City received three new 5-star Google reviews in a 24-hour period following the online check-in go-live. Summary of the stats**:
Here’s a preview of the good things patients had to say:
Getting the word out: digital marketing + local news + traditional signage
Freeman’s marketing team launched a very effective campaign to publicize Save My Spot in its community by combining digital promotion, local news reach and street side signage.
The full embrace by Freeman’s operational and clinical leaders combined with a savvy marketing campaign points to future increases in new patient volume, 5-star Google reviews, and overall usage of the online check-in service.
**As of 2/19/2020; based n patient reviews posted for Freeman’s Webb City clinic
We’re pleased to announce our latest EHR integration with the Aprima practice management system at MedNow, a multi-facility urgent care / primary care based in the Augusta, GA. After piloting Check-in Express + Walk-in Express at one location, MedNow is expanding its rollout to help increase patient volume, reduce manual data entry for registration staff and smooth out patient flow.
Aprima bi-directional integration
MedNow’s implementation features a fully automated bi-directional integration with their EMR, Aprima (recently acquired by eMDs). As a result, the program has:
The bi-directional integration automatically writes patient arrivals into Aprima and matches existing patients to their medical record number. It also reads workflow updates, (for example, how many patients are in the lobby, at triage, ready to discharge, etc.) to automatically space apart treatment times based on surges in the real-time census.
ER Express worked closely with Aprima’s technical team and Redox Engine, our integration partner.
A well-rounded marketing effort
MedNow’s third-party marketing agency took most of the marketing efforts into their own hands with the advice and assistance of the ER Express marketing team to create a robust campaign and website integration that has already had up to 15% of patients checking in online in the first month of go-live. Among the many avenues they used to get the word out, including social media posts, in-lobby standing posters and tent cards, they also created a commercial for the online check-in service.
MedNow followed many of our best practice recommendations for their website, making it a great example for future clients. Not only is the online check-in service uniquely branded as MedNow Express and extremely visible on the home page with more than one point of access, but their landing page for the service features a helpful interactive map that displays the relative locations of all the participating facilities and their first available check-in times. In keeping with our best practices, the landing page also features the what, why, and how of online check-in so patients are well educated about the service before checking in.
All-in-all an excellent start with a great client! Stay tuned for our integration with MedNow’s Virtual Visit scheduling – a first for us.