NEW APP HELPS PATIENTS REMEMBER WHY THEY CAME TO THE DOCTOR
By Mark Salamon, July 3, 2020
As doctor’s offices gradually reopen and patients feel more comfortable going out in public for treatment, long waiting room times are making a comeback. In an effort to address this problem, several major health networks across the country are piloting a new app that patients can use to help them remember why they came to the doctor. The app is easily downloaded at check-in, and reaction has so far been very positive.
The most helpful feature is the automatic alerts, which begin around four hours after check in when, according to research, most people begin to forget where they are and how they got there. “It was very helpful in keeping me focussed,” said one satisfied patient. “That first alert brought up a nice summary of my injury, which doctor I was there to see, a whole bunch of stuff that jogged my memory and brought me right back on track.”
Several hours later these reminders are accompanied by some quick survey questions that not only provide mental stimulation, but help ascertain how the injury is coming along. “I had apparently injured my knee at work, I can’t remember the details, but according to the app it was pretty bad. It prompted me to get up and move my knee around certain ways and poke at a couple of spots. The app said it seemed to be healing.”
Front desk staff are also enthusiastic about early trial runs. “I can get so much work done without patients constantly coming up and asking me what they are doing here,” said one medical secretary. “I’ve actually started answering the phones.”
The app also sends a final alert to the physician when the patient’s injury has completely healed. “It’s very efficient and cost-effective,” said one orthopedic surgeon. “The alert happens in real time, so I am able to run out to the waiting room and touch base with the patient before sending them on their way. That way I can still bill for the visit.”