The Diseconomies of Queue Pooling: An Empirical Investigation of Emergency Department Length of Stay
by Hummy Song, Anita L. Tucker & Karen L. Murrell
OVERVIEW —Improving efficiency and customer experience are key objectives for managers of service organizations including hospitals. In this paper, the authors investigate queue management, a key operational decision, in the setting of a hospital emergency department. Specifically, they explore the impact on throughput time depending on whether an emergency department uses a pooled queuing system (in which a physician is assigned to a patient once the patient is placed in an emergency department bed) or a dedicated queuing system (in which physicians are assigned to specific patients at the point of triage). The author’s measured throughput time based on individual patients’ length of stay in the emergency department, starting with arrival to the emergency department and ending with a bed request for admission to the hospital or the discharge of a patient to home or to an outside facility. The findings show that, on average, the use of a dedicated queuing system decreased patients’ lengths of stay by 10 percent. This represented a 32-minute reduction in length of stay—a meaningful time-savings for the emergency department and patients alike. The authors argue that physicians in the dedicated queuing system had both the incentive and ability to make sure their patients’ care progressed efficiently so that patients in the waiting room could be treated sooner than they otherwise would have. Key concepts include:
This study tests the impact of a queuing system structure on the throughput time of patients in an emergency department that had recently switched from a pooled queuing system to a dedicated queuing system.
Patients experienced faster throughput times when physicians were working in a dedicated queuing system as opposed to a pooled queuing system.
The benefits of a dedicated queuing system may be due to greater visibility into one’s workload and the increased ability for physicians to manage patient flow.
Patient Q® is a patient waiting rooming satisfaction solution designed for hospital Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care Centers to effectively manage the patient experience by creating a virtual waiting room.
Patients can access the ER or Urgent Care waiting room portal from the hospital or clinic’s website, choose the next most convenient and available visit time. Complete the online forms to expedite registration and prepare the ED team ahead, which will reduce the patient’s wait time and visit time, as revealed in Dr. Song’s study.
Patient Q can be effective at capturing new patients from your competitor as a result of our value-added search engine optimization which brings patients right to your online portal. When a patient finds they have a choice to avoid waiting hours in a waiting room versus the comfort and convenience of their own home they will likely choose the convenience of their living room. Patient Q will call or text them as their visit time approaches.
Many quality hospitals and providers suffer from poor patient satisfaction reviews associated with long and unpredictable wait times. Patient satisfaction is core quality measure that is publicly reported and could result in lower reimbursement not to mention the damage to your brand reputation, particularly in the era of social media where your brand is now in the hands of social media fans or foes. To learn more visit http://QueueMobile.com or call 203-715-4780.
Patient Q is only for nonlife or limb threatening conditions.
Patient Q Quote Generator is a confidential collection form used to assess the scope of the project which in turn will assist Fulcrum Design in allocating the appropriate resources and project plan to assure a smooth and uneventful implementation along with ongoing support.
A day in the park with A.I.
Express Q™ is a much more than an amusement park and event premium priorty pass. Express Q™ is designed to be a revenue enhancement and customer flow optimization system for Amusement Parks and events with multiple attractions. Express Q™ is the first mobile app of its kind to use A.I. (artifical intellegence) as a customer flow solution.
Express Q’s offers premium revenue enhancement and VIP guest engagement solution that is fun and efficient. It’s simple and user friendly ceribrial portal is intiative and user friendly. Concierge services is the pinnacle of customer service; however, it is human capital intensive, thus expensive, best reserved for your top tier VIPs. However, your second-tier VIPs, (who there are far more in numbers than top tier VIPs) as a stragetic market segment. Second tier VIPs are those who can afford the upgrade to Express Q, who will likely out spend your average guests if properly motivated.
A.I. Virtual VIP Concierge
Express Q A.I. VIP Concierge module uses the latest in (AI) artificial intelligence to learn the preference of your guests during the app set up. The guest who can afford to upgrade to Express Q are your premium VIPs, who will likely out spend your average guests if strategically encouraged to do so. A.I. VIP Concierge’s combined with geo-fencing will effectively cross promote relevant premium services and merchandise throughout the park as well as when they are home. A.I. VIP Concierge is the first artificial intelligence driven mobile app for the industry creating a unique VIP experience for your premium guests, features include:
Learning guest’s personal preferences to cross promote attractions, events and merchandise of interest.
A.I. will apply geo-fencing to promote relevant premium services and merchandise as the family explores parks.
A.I. will suggest alternative attraction and events during peak time to optimize customer flow.
A.I. will sense when guests are waiting to long and activate the “Fun While You Wait” interactive guest engagement module.
A.I. will know when guests are no longer at the park (home) and periodically activate Express Q
“Picture This” photo gallery while pushing custom offers to the guest to return to the park.
Express Q’s Features
Continuously update the attraction and event’s estimated wait times.
Virtual queuing – enabling guests to join a physical line from the App and get notifications. Push notifications confirming, updating and alerting guests of their queue position. A GPS interactive map of the theme park providing the quickest directions to a favorite attractions or bathrooms. App available for use on any smartphone (platform compatibility IOS and Android) or tablet device. Self-service: the customer can take the virtual ticket or book an appointment themselves. Book ahead for a specific time, place and service.
A Suite of Premium Priority Access solutions including:
Same Day Reservation
Virtual Queuing FIFO
Premium Priority Access
Guest customer flow optimization and load balancing through A.I.
Express Q’s Customer Flow Optimization and attraction cycle configuration.
Barcode options for check-in
Proximity marketing using iConnect API to Google maps and GPS (if available on the mobile device)
Access to Express Q’s analytics for each branch/store or service and now guests
Fun While You Wait
A Module can be activated two ways. The A.I. will turn the module on if it senses guest at rest or inline for 15 minutes. The only amusement park app of its kind guests can click Fun While You Wait icon to access a host of engaging and distracting services and activities:
Quiz and Smart Games
Picture This a photo editing and home delivery app.
Specifications iOS iPhone, Android and mobile web/SMS
White label branding with your own logo and brand color
Eco-friendly Virtual Customer Flow Mobile Suite
The following information is provided for each location/attraction:
Number of people waiting in queue
Average waiting time
Estimated waiting time
Number of open counters or slots
Last number called and printed
Assistance timeslots Available/Unavailable (only for Appointments)
24/7 support availability Benefits Ability to priorities customers according to their punctuality – if a customer arrives at the exact time that they have pre-booked, they will automatically be given priority over another customer who arrives at the same time
Customers that plan their visits can get other benefits such as viewing a list of required documentation for their visit or service
Improves quality of service and waiting time for customers
Delivering the cutting edge guest services by promoting an engaging and compelling experience.
Customers receive more choice and flexibility in how they queue and reassurance that their place is secured in the queue or appointment is booked, allowing the customer to perform other tasks whilst waiting
In today’s world, hospitals, along with or medical and healthcare facilities, understand the need to optimize patient flow. Efficient patient management is a vital part of providing effective care. Our Patient Q queue management system takes full advantage of existing technology and uses it to optimize the patient experience and maximize patient flow.
Text Message Queueing System Operation
Patient Q works with any any any cell phone that is SMS enabled (which is roughly 98%) to create a seamless text message queuing system. It is easy to implement by hospitals and medical facilities and easy to use for any patient with any type of cell phone. Our cell phone pager system creates a virtual communication environment that provides effective, real-time virtual queueing capability and provides invaluable benefits to your organization through increase patient flow and patient satisfaction.
Text Message Queueing System Applications
Our Patient Q SMS paging system can be used in all facets of patient care from hospital admissions to emergency room triage, laboratories, radiology and pharmacy departments. It allows for timely communication with patients as well as staff both onsite and in inter-office environments. It solves the problem of waiting room congestion and allows for multi-scheduling and multitasking by liberating otherwise idle time. This allows doctors to stay better on schedule and respects the valuable time of their patients.
By utilizing our cell phone paging solution Patient Q, medical facilities are able to create a quieter environment by reducing or eliminating public address systems. It also allows medical staff to be more discreet and better protect patient confidentiality. It is a simple and effective way to improve patient experience.
Benefits to Patients
Increased Patient Satisfaction – Reduces waiting room time and congestion and allows patients to move about the facility without fear of missing their turn or delaying their care. Patients can leave the waiting room, go to the cafeteria or gift shop or use the time in an otherwise productive way and still be easily and immediately contacted by facility staff.
Improved Communication – Allows medical staff to send patient-specific information without compromising confidentiality policies. Doctors can send updates to family members regarding procedures, page family members to a specific department or inform patients that prescriptions are ready for pickup, even if the recipient is offsite.
Increased Waiting Room Efficiency – Increases communication with patients and family and keeps waiting family members informed without frequent trips to the nurse’s station or information desk.
Total Confidentiality – Silently relays sensitive information that cannot be overheard by passersby.
Benefits to Healthcare Facilities
Remote and Advance Scheduling –Shortens the wait time for patients and streamlines the check-in process by allowing for facilities to communicate and schedule with patients in advance. Time can be organized around completing pre-appointment paperwork and pre-admission interviews and scheduled in tandem with all aspects of in-patient and out-patient care.
Ease of Use –The intuitive Patient Q interface is simple to deploy, manage and use.
Quickly Notify of Delays –Eliminate the frustration for patients waiting beyond their appointment times and the loss of production time spent dealing with patient inquiries regarding delays.
Sync with Multiple-Facilities –Allows for efficient and accurate scheduling between facilities like triage, lab and pharmacy.
“Not only does this research provide evidence that a text-based program can improve heart disease risk factors, but it also shows that a bunch of bells and whistles aren’t required for successful health outcomes. A simple, low-cost program of text messaging can do the trick.” says, Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the division of cardiology at Duke and an associate editor of JAMA. Click to read the full study September 22/29, 2015 Effect of Lifestyle-Focused Text Messaging on Risk Factor Modification in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease A Randomized Clinical Trial Clara K. Chow, MBBS, PhD1,2; Julie Redfern, PhD1; Graham S. Hillis, MBChB, PhD3,4,5; et al
Fulcrum Design has developed Health & Wellness SMS Reminder Systems and feel it is necessary for population health management initiative to use this technology. For one, as for as an effective means of communicating to large audiences. Text messages are opened 98% of the time and read within the first 15 minutes, more than email, phone calls or morse code. Two, the studies prove that texted based reminder keep patients in compliance. To learn more contact us.