Time for the ER Concierge

Emergency Room visits can be a frustrating experience. As the push for value leads to an increased focus on patient experience, an ER concierge might be a worthwhile addition to hospital staffs.

Concierge bell

Here's a scenario that might be familiar. You are on vacation and slip, falling on your outreached arm. You heard a snap and your wrist looks like a fork. You go to the local emergency room and are handed a clipboard. You are asked to take a seat to wait to see the ER physician.

After what seems like an interminable wait, you see an intake nurse who completes more paperwork and you are asked to take a seat in the waiting room again before the doctor can see you.

The doctor sees you and tells you to take a seat before the X-ray tech can take an X-ray. You are getting the picture. Maybe it's time for the ER concierge to help make it a better experience. The person is part greeter, part information navigator, part patient advocate, part operations management facilitator, and part medical educator. As soon as you arrive, the person, who has a station in the waiting room, would make sure you are having the experience you deserve and improves work flow and connects you to online information resources while you are waiting. Kiosks would supplement face-to-face interaction as well.

The flight to quality and value has focused on the flight to experience. High-touch interventions will supplement high technology and make the difference between choosing commoditized, impersonal, inconvenience care with personalized, high-impact care. ERs need to change the flow and the concierge might be able to help.

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