DERRY — Emergency room waiting areas at Parkland Medical Center might be getting a little less crowded thanks to a recently installed electronic check-in system.
The equipment is helping expedite the check-in process for patients arriving at the emergency room.
Similar to systems used at airports and retail outlets, arriving patients simply scan an ID or type in basic identity information at the check-in station.
"It's better than the airport," said Gail Bergeron, a patient access manager for Parkland. "All you do is show your ID and everything pops up on the screen."
Once the information is entered, the system automatically locates the patient's medical record at the hospital, so all of the medical history can be quickly accessed by doctors, Bergeron said as she stood near the kiosk.
Holding her driver's license, Bergeron pretended to be a patient who was suffering from a severe migraine headache.
Jeanette Benson, a registrar at Parkland, played the role of greeting Bergeron and asked if she had an ID. The license was scanned and Bergeron explained how the history would provide important information doctors might want to know such as any previous visits she had for migraines and if there were certain medications she shouldn't take.
At the check-in station, patients are guided through a series of questions that are offered in English and Spanish. The questions capture such items as the reason for the visit, symptom severity, and other key information.
"Nurses already know I'm out here because they can see me on the tracking system," Bergeron said. "There's no sitting down with a triage nurse. They've got the information they need, and I go right into a room.''
Parkland is part of Hospital Corporation of America. The company recently launched the new electronic system at its hospitals across the country, said Parkland CEO Chris Accashian.
It has been working well since its launch about eight weeks ago, Accashian said.
"Really, our goal is to get patients back into a bed and being treated by a provider as fast as possible," Accashian said. "Our goal is for arrival to seeing a physician within 10 minutes and we are consistently hitting that number."
For more information about Parkland Medical Center, visit parklandmedicalcenter.com