Mobile web site and downloadable apps to quickly follow
Just 18 months after launching online wait times for its emergency room, Atlantic General Hospital is introducing real-time waits for two other services: x-rays and outpatient lab work.
The mechanism used to track and post the wait times for the emergency room translated very well to these other walk-in outpatient services because patients are in an even better position to time their visits.
“When a physician orders x-rays or blood work, a patient can come in any time during service hours Monday through Saturday. But, there do tend to be patterns of peak visit times when the wait is longer,” said Paige Warrington, outpatient services coordinator at Atlantic General Hospital. “Now patients can better time their visits to get in and out quickly and on with the rest of their day.”
In a few short weeks, the online wait times will be even more accessible to the public when Atlantic General becomes the first hospital in Maryland to offer yet another convenience: a mobile-friendly web site and downloadable apps for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry mobile devices.
When someone with a mobile device downloads the app, he or she can access the current wait times for all three services – ER, x-ray and outpatient lab – with the tap of a finger.
“We’re excited to be able to offer this to the community,” said Toni Keiser, vice president of public relations at Atlantic General Hospital. “Two major goals in healthcare today are to become more accessible and more transparent to our patient populations. This innovative healthcare communications project helps accomplish both.”
The undertaking involved a collaboration of the hospital’s outpatient services department, IT services and their web developer to create a dynamic web display that presents accurate figures – really an average wait time value – every five minutes.
”Healthcare is a part of everyone’s life. It is our responsibility as a provider of these services to develop ways to better integrate compliance with healthcare prescribed by an individual’s physician and that person’s other daily activities,” states Michael Franklin, President and CEO of Atlantic General Hospital. “Awareness of services and convenience are keys to compliance.”
About Outpatient Services
The Outpatient Services Department at Atlantic General Hospital is open six days a week for x-rays, blood work and other imaging and specimen collection and diagnostics. Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, visit www.atlanticgeneral.org.
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