Looking for a way to optimize patient flow in the emergency department? Today’s world is increasingly mobile and fast-paced, so delivering a better patient experience, managing volume, and expanding online services are often near the top of many health systems’ lists.
One of the best ways to hit all three marks is to offer patients the convenience of emergency department online check-in and referrals. Create convenient, wait-time reducing, communication-enhancing access points for low-acuity and high-acuity patients using online check-in and digital patient referral tools.
Although historically ED has only accepted patients on a walk-in basis only, implementing online check-in allows for increased productivity. Online check-in enables your facility to block off busy times and allows lower-acuity patients to book online when there is more capacity. This allows those lower-acuity patients to wait remotely, which will decongest the waiting room, benefiting both the patient experience and staff tasks. With an online check-in tool, you can create an opportunity for staff to communicate with patients’ about wait times, delays, and cancellations and even get their feedback after discharge. Creating wait time transparency will help your ED stand out from competitors, improve access and attract new volume.
Digital Patient Referral
According to the 2021 UCA Autumn Benchmarking Report, 42% of providers have seen an increase in the percentage of emergency department referrals over the last five years. Expedite care for higher-acuity patients by streamlining communication and coordination between offices like PCPs, and Urgent Cares with electronic patient referrals. Have the referring provider office fill out and submit a secure online form with patients’ details, chief complaint, and referring provider information to enter the patient into a queue and allow staff to better prepare for the patients’ arrival.
With the ED staff having all of the patients’ information, they are better prepared and able to reduce door-to-bed time. Once the patient is ready for disposition, the referring office automatically receives updated information about the patients’ disposition status. This tool bridges a gap between provider offices and the ED while freeing up staff tasks and accelerating collaboration between teams to provide better patient care.
Solutions for Emergency Department Workflow
At PulseCheck, we understand the workflow of the ED and understand the resistance to change. But just like switching from paper to electronic documentation, digital patient access tools will benefit your patient flow and experience. With online check-in and digital patient referrals, patients, staff, and referring providers all win.