Posts Tagged ‘Check-In’

Oh Hell Yes: UCSF Allows Emergency Room Check-In Online – Wait Just 15 Minutes with InQuickER Service at Parnassus

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

The average wait for an emergency room visit at UCSF‘s Parnassus Heights campus is 4.5 hours for people with mild medical emergencies? Wow.

Wouldn’t it be nicer to pay $5 to check-in online and then wait at home rather than in the ER?

That’s what UCSF thinks.

Check it:

“UCSF patients with minor medical needs seeking treatment in the Emergency Department now can make an appointment to be seen – waiting at home rather in the hospital – via a new online check-in service called InQuickER.

UCSF Medical Center
UCSF Medical Center is now offering patients with mild medical emergencies a chance to reserve a time to be seen in the Emergency Department using a new online system.

UCSF Medical Center’s Emergency Department (ED) at Parnassus Heights is now offering InQuickER designed for patients with non-threatening minor medical needs.

UCSF patients can register online for a $4.99 fee and pick an open slot for an emergency room visit. The fee will be refunded if they’re not seen within 15 minutes.

In April, UCSF did a trial run with the online service, which 22 people used. UCSF Medical Center launched the system a few weeks ago.

“One thing we encountered during the trial was that a lot of patients were using it inappropriately,” said Jennifer Dearman, the Emergency Department’s patient care manager. “The online registration is screened by ED nurses and we have had to advise some patients to come directly to the ED. This service is for a fast-track kind of patient.”

“For example, a cancer patient on chemotherapy with a fever can have complicated issues and should be seen in the regular ED, so InQuickER is not appropriate for that person.”

Waiting at Home vs. Hospital

About 105 patients a day visit the emergency room at UCSF Medical Center on the Parnassus campus, Dearman said, and the average time between arrival and departure, for those not admitted to the hospital, is four-and-a-half hours.

That’s in keeping with the average wait in 2009 for ER patients throughout California: four hours and 34 minutes –  27 minutes longer than the U.S. average, according to a 2010 report by health care consulting firm Press Ganey.

Dearman said patient satisfaction was the main reason UCSF Medical Center adopted InQuickER. “It also helps us control the flow,” she said. “The general population doesn’t think the emergency room ever has slow times. But it does.”

UCSF is one of 55 health care facilities in 13 states partnering with InQuickER, said spokesman Chris Song. The service, based in Nashville, began in 2006 after its founder, Tyler Kiley, had to go to an emergency room and spent hours witnessing stasis and frustration.

“He just thought there had to be a better way,” Song said. “With our service, you still have to wait but you get to do it somewhere else. Like on your couch instead of being surrounded by other sick people.”

Song said InQuickerER provides patients with convenience, comfort and some level of control. And it allows emergency department staff to know who’s coming and what symptoms they have, so that they can better prepare.

“It can help reduce the burden of peak times and spread it out,” Song said. “It creates more efficiency and a better environment in the waiting room.”

So far, more than 10,000 people have used the service; 95 percent have been seen within the 15-minute window. In a triage situation, of course, even people who have registered will have to wait. When there are delays, users are notified through text messages and emails with updated projections on treatment times.

The service is available online at https://ucsfmedicalcenter.inquicker.com/. It is growing rapidly, Song said, which is not surprising: A study led by San Francisco General Hospital emergency physician Renee Hsia, MD, MSc, found that the number of hospital-based emergency departments in the United States is declining, despite an increase in the number of patients seeking emergency care.

The study by Hsia, an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine in the UCSF School of Medicine, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in May. It reported that 27 percent of urban and suburban emergency rooms have closed in the last two decades.”

Hurray!

Barbie’s VideoGirl Street Team Revealed: San Francisco Scavenger Hunt Ends This Afternoon

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

They’re here. Right now. Giving away Barbie dolls avec built-in video camerasand pink docking stations for your iPod ‘n stuff.

At last report, they were hanging out in Union Square. Show them something pink and you could win big. Get in on the action here.

Find these people and win, win, win:

The team travels to Los Angeles next, and then Chicago and New York.

You Can’t Win if You Don’t Play…

OMG, Barbie Doll Video Camera Scavenger Hunt in San Francisco on Tuesday, July 20!

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Barbie is coming to the 415 on Tuesday, 7-20-10. That means that, if you want, you can get on the Twitter and the Foursquare to get clues to find the Street Team to win a free VIDEO GIRL Barbie doll/digital camcorder and other swag.

It’s going to be the biggest thing ever. Follow the action here starting at 10:00 on Toosday. (NB: Barbs is currently checked in at her dream house in Malibu. Srsly.) The deets:

“It’s Lights, Barbie, Action time! To celebrate the launch of Video Girl Barbie – a doll that records all of the fun with a built-in video camera – Barbie is putting on a scavenger hunt in San Francisco! Thought you and your readers might be interested in spending some time with Barbie, getting in on the adventure and going on a real-life hunt for prizes, free swag and, of course, a totally dollicious time!

Using location-based social media tool Foursquare (www.foursquare.com) to keep everyone apprised of her whereabouts, Barbie will “check-in” to a mix of fun and fashionable venues in San Francisco.To participate in the hunt, fans can follow along via video and text clues that Barbie leaves on Twitter (@BarbieStyle) and Foursquare (@BarbieStyle).

And, for those that “follow” the fun, there will be limited edition Video Girl swag including a chance to win your very own Video Girl!”

Click to expand

iJustine explains how VG barbie works:

Like a backwards Tele-Tubby, non?

Enjoy!

Complete rules: http://alldolldup.typepad.com/all_dolld_up/2010/07/video-girl-scavenger-hunt-lights-barbie-action.html
RSVP to the Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/barbie?v=app_2344061033#!/event.php?eid=138435432851331&index=1.
More on the doll:
http://www.barbie.com/videogirl/
iJustine goes behind-the-scene with Video Girl:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSCfbSKSxMc

Three Cheers to Southwest Airlines, Where They Don’t Have Fees for Everything

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Well, check it out. Today, Southwest Airlines (LUV) is crowing about their lack of fees.

So that means “NO First or Second Checked Bag Fees, Change Fees, Fuel Surcharges, Snack Fees, Aisle or Window Seat Fees, Curbside Check-In Fees, or Phone Reservation Fees.” Hurray!

What the “legacy” carriers don’t seem to understand is that some people really, really don’t like hidden fees. Like how some restaurants in San Francisco hit you with an undisclosed 4% tack-on when you get your bill

Fly with Southwest and you’ll think you’ve been transported back to the 1970′s, when fees were a four-letter word:

1970s.jpg

Nostalgic photo via Church of the Customer

Now, some may quibble about a few things, like how the cheapest fares from Southwest are only available online. But that’s as it should be, since reserving a flight by yourself lowers the expenses of running the airline. This is a better approach than a company advertising a price and then surprising you with a fee that you didn’t even know existed. The point is that Southwest has none of the new fees all the other airlines seem to have.  

Now this might put SWA at a disadvantage when they advertise their rates, because they lose all those little “profit centers” the other airlines take advantage of. But just remember that Bags Fly Free, and lots of other things are free, when you fly with LUV.

Hurray. Certain other airlines should take notice of this.