Jing Liu (Jenny), ECE
Jelece Morris, HSI
David Woods, Arch
A patient waiting in a typical emergency department would have time to watch more than four one-hour long episodes of the iconic television show "ER," according to a survey by a national hospital consulting firm. With the average length of stay at Grady Memorial Hospital Emergency Department of 5.52 hours, patients lack basic knowledge of the queuing system, where they stand in the system and general stress about leaving and missing their turn for treatment. Even with the industry average of a 4 hour length of stay for low acuity patients, the waiting period can be facilitated with the benefit of status acknowledgement and positive distractions.
5.52 hours: average length of stay at Grady ED
4 hours: industry average length of stay
Surveys show that open communication between medical professionals and patients and waiting room comforts are highly correlated with hospital satisfaction.
Low to medium acuity patients often find themselves unaware of their wait status, hear continuous loud noises and lack positive distraction during their time in ER waiting rooms. Observations at Grady showed patient’s irritation from waiting, people missing their names being called and limited options for entertainment.
How can we inform patients of their wait status?
How can we reduce congestion at the registration desk?
How can we reduce the noise in the waiting room?
How can we locate patients quicker?
How can we allow the wait time to be perceived as less than what it really is?
Putting the control in your hands
A handheld device that can notify patients when they are needed by the nurse, show patient's progress within the system and provide health facts during idle times.
The device features include:
- Status Monitor (display patient’s progress)
- Progress Bar (information about each step of treatment process)
- Health information (cancer, heart disease, preventive care)
- Vibration effect to alert patients when they are needed
- Push notification on system
- LED alert lights
Reduces patient anxiety from waiting
Provides patient’s confidence to take care of other needs
Maintain a quieter atmosphere by eliminating the need for an overhead PA system
Enables patient and hospital tracking of wait times
Reduces perceived waiting times
Locate patients more quickly, thereby decreasing turn around time
Reduce registration table congestion
Allows patients to roam around and not worry about missing their turn
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