Mobile App Controls Waiting Room Volumes to Limit Viral Transmission

May 5, 2020

Patients sit in their cars until texted that it’s time to enter the clinic for their scan.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the No. 1 priority for radiology offices has been protecting patients by limiting viral transmission. For one multi-site practice in Connecticut, those stringent safeguarding measures mean keeping patients out of the facility until they’re called.

In collaboration with eInformatics, Advanced Radiology – a practice with several imaging site across the state – has launched the “Wait in Car” app to manage the flow of patients through the clinic, as well as maximize the safety of everyone involved in providing and receiving an imaging exam.

“Our first priority has always been the health and safety of our patients,” said Clark Yoder, Advanced Radiology Consultants’ chief executive officer. “The Wait in Car application empowers us to help prevent the spread of the virus while providing a safer, less stressful environment for our patients and our staff.”

On the day of their scheduled appointment, patients automatically receive a text message with a link they can use to inform the facility when they arrive. It also allows them to complete the check-in process, including COVID-19-related questions, from their car. Once the staff reviews the information in real time via their clinical information system, they send a follow-up text to invite the patient inside for his or her scan.

The goal, said Tim Ninke, lead developer for Wait in Car for eInformatics, is to reduce crowded waiting rooms and other spaces with patient tend to congregate, including the likelihood of viral transmission.

“It is our hope that the new app contributes to a safer and more productive practice-patient experience at this critical time,” he said.

Alongside the Wait in Car app, Advanced Radiology has also taken additional steps to protect patients, providers, and staff, such as consistent use of protective equipment, routine disinfection of machines, and pre-screening patients at all clinical sites, Yoder emphasized.