InQuicker, which can be accessed through the hospital’s Web site, allows such patients to hold a place in the ER by completing an online form. In return, patients will be given a projected treatment time with the guarantee of being seen by a health-care professional within 15 minutes of that time.
“We know people want more convenience and predictability in the ER experience,” said Spalding Regional Chief Executive Officer John Quinn. “With this service, users enjoy the convenience of choosing where they wait.”
InQuicker charges a service fee of $9.99 for each time a patient uses the system. The fee has to be paid online via credit card. If the patient is not seen by a health-care professional within 15 minutes of his projected treatment time, the fee will be refunded to him. Likewise, patients lose their guarantee to be seen within 15 minutes if they are late for their projected treatment time.
According to hospital officials, the average waiting time for patients who come to Spalding Regional’s ER with non-life-threatening medical conditions has been under one hour in 2011. For patients with urgent conditions, there is no waiting time.
Inside the hospital’s emergency room, an express care area treats non-life-threatening conditions, while patients with immediate needs are treated in the main Emergency Department.
Officials stressed that InQuicker does not provide appointments to the emergency room. Instead it lets patients wait in the comfort of their homes, or wherever they choose, rather than having to wait in the emergency room.
Through built-in safeguards, the online service also prevents those with potentially life-threatening medical conditions from using InQuicker. Those patients are instead encouraged to go immediately to the nearest emergency room or call 911.
InQuicker is also available as part of the Spalding Regional Medical Center free app that can be downloaded to androids, Blackberries or iPhones. For more information visit www.spaldingregional.com.