Urgent Care just got even more efficient
Anyone who has ever visited one of Cape Cod Healthcare’s four Urgent Care Centers knows that they run smoothly. Now, to make them even more efficient, check-in kiosks have been added to help expedite patients’ concerns.
The kiosks use Clockwise MD patient engagement software to weed out any emergencies, help patients see how long their wait will be, and allow the medical staff to manage workflow in a patient-centered way.
The information generated from these kiosks integrates with the Cape Cod Healthcare website, to ensure urgent care location wait times are updated in near real-time.
“Really it is about patient engagement and patient satisfaction and being able to take care of the patient as soon as they walk in,” said, Hilary Challies-McDermott, executive director of CCHC Urgent Care. “Now we know exactly why patients are coming into the Urgent Care. Prior to this we didn’t have a way of seeing who was in our waiting room and what their complaints were.”
The kiosks debuted at the Stoneman Urgent Care Center in Sandwich in mid-January. They went live at Falmouth Urgent Care Center at the end of January and at Fontaine Urgent Care Center in Harwich on February 4. The kiosks are up and running as of February 18 at Cape Cod Healthcare’s Urgent Care Center in Hyannis.
With the new system, when patients first enter an Urgent Care Center, they go to the kiosk to check in using a touch screen. They type in their name and cell phone, if that is their favored form of communication. Then they choose why they are there from a drop-down screen of common ailments. If their illness or complaint is not listed, they can select “other” and type in their problem.
The next screen is a list of emergent complaints. Emergent complaints include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Severe abdominal pain
- Stroke symptoms
- Irregular heartbeats
- Heart palpitations
- Loss of consciousness
- Severe allergic reactions
- Head injuries
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- A lethargic child
- An inconsolable child
“If you select one of those complaints it won’t let you check into the kiosk,” Challies-McDermott said. “It stops you and makes you go to the registration desk immediately. That way nobody who is having an emergency type of situation goes to the waiting room. They get evaluated right away; allowing us to assess the patient and decide if the complaint is appropriate for the Urgent Care or if they need to be transferred to our Emergency Department for a higher level of medical treatment.”
Those who are not having an emergency type situation go to the waiting room where there is a television screen that allows them to see where they are in line. It also gives them an estimated wait time. Once it is their turn, the staff will text them, if they entered their cell phone, or call them by name to direct them to the registration desk.
Because the Urgent Care Centers in Hyannis and Falmouth have a fairly high usage of interpreter services for Portuguese, the kiosks also translate everything into Portuguese.
In addition to making patients safer and better informed, the kiosks help the medical staff by keeping them informed about who is in the building and what their needs are.
“Now we are able to track our patients from the time they walk in and sign in until the time they are discharged,” Challies-McDermott said. “It’s wonderful to have it. It allows my staff, my nurses and physicians in the back to be able to look at a screen and see who is in the waiting room and also who is already in patient treatment rooms. We have an amazing overview now.”