As part of an ambitious effort to create a series of applications that enable people to have more control over how and when health care services will be provided, CrossChx this week launched a Queue application running on an Apple iPad through which patients can check themselves into a health care facility.
CrossChx CEO Sean Lane says Queue is the first in a series of health care applications that CrossChx is building to give individuals what will amount to a “remote control” for how they engage, manage and ultimately pay for health care services.
Queue itself is deployed on an Apple iPad attached to a kiosk in the waiting room of the health care provider’s office. Patients use the touchscreen system to check themselves in. The system then flashes a portion of their phone number (enough to identify them) up on a display in the office that tells them how many people are in front of them and their expected wait time.
What makes Queue different, says Lane, is that the application is supported by a global database of 36 million patients that all have their own unique identification. That not only makes it possible for those patients to check themselves into multiple health care facilities, it reduces paperwork in a way that also limits opportunities for fraud that today costs the health care industry over $42 billion a year, says Lane.
CrossChx is borrowing some of the customer service concepts that have been pioneered in the retail sector and applying them to health care. Obviously, it’s a lot more challenging to build a health care application that assigns unique identifiers to millions of people. But as Lane notes, the confidence that patients have in a health care provider doesn’t start when they first meet their doctor, but rather stems from the first interactions they have in a waiting room when their anxiety levels are probably at their highest. Making the sign-in process as simple and smooth as possible for all concerned should help reduce the stress level of everyone involved in providing those health care services.