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No more endless ER visits: make a reservation, wait at home

Posting in Science

A visit to the Emergency Room for a simple medical need can stretch for hours depending on who else needs the ER's services and how urgently they need it.

While this system makes sense on one level, it doesn't on others, such as efficiency, ease of service, customer satisfaction and more.

All these problems are now being addressed by Inquicker, a six-year-old site that allows people to reserve a spot with an ER doctor from their own homes and wait for the time of the appointment.

If, as the time approaches, InQuicker anticipates a wait, it will text the patient to notify him or her of the delay.

Fast Company reports that the service, which launched in 2006, is offered at 165 facilities across 22 states. Hospitals pay a monthly fee to hire the service. Cofounder Michael Brody-Waite says:

“Indirectly, we end up impacting all these metrics that the hospitals care about,” like boosting patient satisfaction and shrinking the number of patients who leave before they’re seen. He adds that doctors can spend less time apologizing about wait times and more time treating patients.

When hospitals adopt Inquicker, essentially adapting the OpenTable model to health, it also helps them with more than just their efficiency and patient expenses: “Their brand is positively differentiated within their community,” Brody-Waite says. “They typically get a lot of positive press.”

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via: Fast Company

photo: screenshot

— By on October 4, 2012, 3:49 PM PST

Laura Shin

Features Editor

Laura Shin has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times, and is currently a contributor at Forbes. Previously, she worked at Newsweek, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and LearnVest. She holds degrees from Stanford University and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure