University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, has partnered with InQuicker, the country's first health IT company to introduce an online waiting service for emergency room and urgent care center patients. The InQuicker service enables patients to wait from home for projected treatment times and is now available as a free service to the public at eight UH emergency rooms and one urgent care center in the Greater Cleveland area.
Currently, InQuicker has partnerships with 158 health care facilities in 21 states. The Nashville-based company recently released an independent study that showed that 8 out of 10 ER patients using InQuicker spend less than 15 minutes in the hospital waiting room before seeing a medical professional. Just 18 percent of the country's general ER visiting population are seen in the same time frame.
Richard Hanson, UH President of Community Hospitals and Ambulatory Network said of the new partnership:
"We believe InQuicker will provide a service that will be much appreciated by our patients by allowing them to wait in their privacy of their home, especially when they are not feeling well. Once prospective patients receive a projected treatment time at one of our facilities, they wait at home rather than in the waiting room, and receive updates should there be any delays. Once they arrive, it’s our commitment to make sure that the patients are promptly seen by a health care professional.”
It is important to note that InQuicker is not an appointment or reservation service, as ER and urgent care triage does not allow for the scheduling of medical treatment. However, InQuicker estimates treatment times based on facility conditions and enables users to wait in line from the comfort of their own homes rather than in the waiting room. In the event of a projected treatment delay, InQuicker users are sent real-time notifications by phone and email so that they can continue to wait at home.
Certain symptom keywords that may indicate a life-threatening condition are filtered by the InQuicker system as a safety measure. A health care professional at participating UH facilities also reviews users' symptoms. Those that indicate a life-threatening medical condition are prompted to call 911 or go immediately to the nearest emergency room.