Healthcare reform is a political hotbed in the US. Even in Canada, Europe and other parts of the world health care is a political and financial concern. As our population ages and health care needs rise we need to maintain costs to reduce the overall impact on our future health. Everyone agrees that to preserve even our current levels of health care spending we must make changes for greater sustainability.
Recall how stores, banks and other services industries operated 15-20 years ago. There were no online registrations or self-help kiosk. Today some stores give consumers choices, the ability to self-server or to get personalized services from an associate.
Can’t a hospitals provide self-check in; online registration before you arrive at the door so that when you arrive, your information and health details are already known to the care-providers? Why can’t someone call one number to book an appointment, schedule lab test needed and receive preparation material to consider even before seeing a doctor, complete your current meds or family history, even take your own vital signs first with automated equipment provided when you arrive. This would save time and money.
Of course there is still need for verified checks by professional staff as required, its to be expected, still self-check in and automated medical history online can save a lot.
Imagine arriving at the hospital and using a smartcard to check in. Your history is available to the triage nurse who is awaiting you since you or someone else has called and given details of your arrival. It could have been a phone call or online registration made to the facility. This allowed for the right resources to be available. Rather then being unsure from department to department and made to fill out new forms or have a new nurse or doctor ask you the same questions again and again, these details are available as soon as your proximity is detected from your smart-card.