If you have ever been to a hospital, then you know that there is always a queue of people waiting at the counter to get help. As queue management is becoming more and more popular in hospitals, it is important to understand how queue management improves patient quality.
In this blog post, we will discuss queue management and how it can be implemented in hospitals with hospital management systems.
What is Queue Management?
Queue management aims at controlling patient inflow into the hospital and ensuring that patients wait only for a minimum amount of time before their needs are met.
This system reduces the necessity for queues that one usually sees at hospitals and healthcare centers, saves ill and tired patients from having to wait long hours, and takes away the necessity for patients to take a day off from work to visit the hospital.
Queue management can also reduce the physical and emotional strain that hospital staff goes through each day to manage the inflow of patients into the institution, day in and out.
How to Implement Queue Management?
Queue management can be partly digitalized or completely digitized. The first option is slightly similar to the traditional queue system and involves the patients being seated in a hall or room until their token number is shown on a digital screen.
This process suffers from many of the setbacks of the traditional queue systems in hospitals, the only differences being that the patients do not have to stand in long queues and can instead rest until their chance comes up and that a screen replaces a staff member in calling out token numbers.
In a completely digitized queue management system, patients join a queue from wherever they are via mobile device or website, as soon as they make an appointment.
The system sends them automated alerts about their position in the queue, estimates a wait time after analyzing the strength of the queue, and gives them an approximate time frame within which their token would be called.
When the patients arrive, they can immediately enter the appointment room, and return to their daily routine as soon as the appointment is over without any sort of disruption. This allows them to make better use of the time otherwise wasted sitting in the hospital lobby.
The lack of physical queues and long waiting hours lead to happier patients and more efficient employees.
How do Hospital Management Systems Help in Queue Management?
In recent times, queue management software has become a feature in most hospital management systems. The feature is specifically designed for outpatient clinics, diagnostic centers, and hospitals, where patient queues often create confusion and disruption to the flow of work.
The HMS can integrate the queue management feature with the EMR and insurance systems to provide priority to terminally ill, old, and pregnant patients.
It can also create daily and monthly reports on the efficiency of the queue management system that include data of average wait times and daily patient numbers, helping you understand whether the process is working or not.
Most systems offer self-service queue check-in options, wherein the patients can check themselves into the online queues.
As we have said above, queue management can lead to less frustrated and happy patients, who show a higher chance of revisiting your hospital or clinic, leading to higher revenue.
Queue management is cost-effective as it reduces the use of paper, storage space for documents, and also the number of staff required for the task as the software can manage the entire patient flow inwards and outwards systematically without errors.
Insta’s cloud-based hospital management system offers the following features to manage patient inflow:
Pre-registration with patient information to generate the unique patient identification ID or medical record number.
Integration through Insta’s proprietary Nexus app for automated government ID cards (UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain) for quick registrations and digital signature capturing for consent forms.
Tag patients as an emergency, unidentified or medico-legal case, VIP, or based on confidentiality for controlled access to patient’s medical records.