Georgian Bay General Hospital took patient registration to a whole new level in August with the introduction of Self-Check-In and triage in the emergency department.
The Self-Check-In kiosk is simply an iPad in a locked enclosure on a stand – they were first introduced in the hospital’s central registration area where all outpatients (lab, DI, surgical and ambulatory care patients) are registered earlier in the summer. In August the project expanded to include the emergency department.
The Self Check-In project began in 2013 with research by the hospital’s Application staff from the Information Systems Department. They were tasked with looking for affordable and reliable possibilities, which was followed by an RFP, before the project got underway in earnest earlier this year.
GBGH partnered with The Shams Group to bring the new technology to their hospital after making the decision to invest in Self-Check-In.
GBGH’s emergency department sees 45,000 patients a year and the central registration area registers nearly 200 patients a day.
In the central registration area a swipe of a health card and verification of some information means the registration process is faster with only a quick stop for an armband with the clerk; for lab patients the armband isn’t even necessary.
When patients arrive for a scheduled appointment at the main lobby kiosk stations, they have the ability to “check-in”, quickly see the clerk to receive an armband and on their way to the area of treatment. Lab patients can “check-in” at the kiosk and proceed directly to the Laboratory reducing a wait in the registration area.
In the emergency department the swipe or manual input of Health Card number includes patient verification but also goes a step further by asking the patient some relevant questions. The patient is able to select their language preference between English or French and they are voice prompted throughout the check-in. They complete the check- in with their Reason for Visit to the Emergency Department, Pain Scale, Acute Respiratory Illness related questions and Past Medical History, and then once completed they take a seat in the Triage area. The patient’s information flows onto the patient tracker for the Triage Nurse to view with the all the patient’s relevant information. The triage nurse then recalls all data immediately into the triage assessment for the triage nurse. It has already shown to have significantly shortened the length of triaging patients.
While Self-Check-In may not be new to the landscape, taking it a step further and actually using the same technology by having patients answer their own triage questions is cutting edge. This assists the triage nurses with a more accurate in the door time and ability to prioritize the patients efficiently.
In the emergency department Self-Check-In with triage takes some of the load off.
“When we are registering and triaging that many patients a day, you can imagine how difficult it is when we can only allocate one nurse and one clerk to the job,” adds Ms. Noon.
“Patients still see the triage nurse but it reduces the time it takes to input the standard questions and answers a triage nurse goes through,” adds Ms. Noon. “And when we can remove some of the data input it gives more time for direct patient care.”
The Shams Group (TSG), a Healthcare Software & Service Provider, having serviced over 400 hospitals and healthcare systems worldwide. We are headquartered out of Dallas, TX with clients and local offices and operations in USA, Canada, Asia and Middle East. With over 25 years of IT experience, TSG offers both services and enterprise-wide solutions in areas of EHR Portals, Business Intelligence, Dictation and Transcription Portal, and various Smart Phone/Tablet based mobile solutions to enhance your bottom line and improve your clinical outcomes. Our Products and Solutions are Modular Stage 2 Meaningful Use Certified.
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