If you don’t have an online check-in for your emergency department, you should have implemented one… yesterday. After working with multiple health systems we’ve identified three main reasons why you should implement an online check-in.
What has increased 1500%+ in the last 5 years? The number of people typing “hospital near me” or “ER near me” into their smartphones, portable devices, and computers. Most ER visits now begin with a digital search. This means decisions about where to go hang in the balance based on what patients discover on their digital journeys.
During the typical digital search, consumers consult 20+ sources of information before making a decision. In the lens of someone searching for non-life threatening emergent care, they are high intent, looking to close their search efforts and get themselves or their loved one the care they are seeking.
The check-in experience immediately communicates your readiness and availability. It is the invitation and call-to-action missing from “no appointment necessary” or “we’re open” messaging. Patients regain a sense of control and well being once they check-in. Committing to a plan immediately gains them a partner.
The chaos of the search closes and they can simply focus their attention on arriving. In our experience with healthcare consumers across the nation using Arriv in the last year, 90% of people who check-in online present at the facility to get care. People who check-in show up.
Online check-in is quickly becoming an aspect of the digital journey that patients want and expect to see. If you don’t have an online check-in and your competitors do, they will have an advantage in attracting patients.
Then the question becomes, which online check-in tool will be best for your facility.
Setting and managing patient expectations is paramount to a good patient care experience. Patient satisfaction is commonly determined by whether a healthcare experience falls short, meets, or exceeds expectations. Online check-in plays a significant role in communicating and establishing expectations from the first steps in a patient journey.
First, a well designed online check-in tool gives patients a seamless digital experience to check-in to an ED facility. This instantly communicates that this healthcare provider has empathy for what the patient needs in an emergent situation. It quickly builds trust.
Second, online check-in is an opportunity to set expectations about the visit -- how long wait times might be, how to navigate to the facility, where to park, what to do once a patient arrives. While thoughtful, these also prepare the patient for what to expect.
These are questions patients are seeking to answer before visiting your emergency department facility. Providing these key pieces of information starts their experience off on the right foot from the beginning. Most of all, it gives them the extra confidence needed to check-in at your facility.
Another important way to improve patient experience is to smooth patient volume across the day. An advanced online check-in tool will accurately show wait time distributions so lower acuity patients gravitate to the forecasted less trafficked times.
By softening or flattening demand spikes make it easier for doctors and staff to spend more time with patients. At the same time, patients overall will spend less time in the waiting room. This makes for a happier patient and helps improve key metrics like door to provider time, length of stay (LOS), and left without treatment (LWOT).
On the other hand, during a busy surge, patients checking in will be prepared for longer waits, eliminating their frustrations caused by poor expectation setting.
If a patient arrives frustrated because expectations were poorly set, there's a much higher chance that your patient will be dissatisfied, leave a poor review, and even worse, leave without treatment.
Want to explore how our online check-in tool will impact your ER? With Arriv, we help healthcare providers win more patients, manage expectations that result in increased patient satisfaction, and alter demand that helps your doctors, staff, and patients.
Schedule a chat with our CEO if you’d like to learn more.