In this report, we are focus on the overview of Patient Queueing Management System and how it works. How is it beneficial to the company and what are the challenges? How it can be implemented in a company and what companies should do before implementing a patient Queuing Management System and are the different types of solution to implement a queueing management System. It also provides recommendation that could be implemented with the system and how system aims to facilitate both hospitals and patients.
2.1. Overview of Patient Management Queuing System
Patient management queuing system enables the hospitals and other healthcare to provide the patients with easy way to patient and doctors journey. It improves the speed in the services and the quality in which the patients are treated and it also lowers the patient tension and help in minimizing the long wait time before they can be treated in the exam room. (Qmatic, 2018)
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Customer satisfaction is becoming a biggest challenge in the healthcare sector. Patients need to get faster treatment. To improve the patient satisfaction, they need to increase or decrease the amount of rooms for examination of the patients but that would be costly for the hospitals like St. George as being a government hospital it is hard for them to get a new medical examination room. So, to improve the customer satisfaction, the performance sector needs to be a key process to be improved. (Mardiah F.P., Basri M.H., (2013))
Patient Queuing Management System Flowchart
Queuing management system is mostly use First in First Out (FIFO) feature.
The major functionalities in patient queuing management system can be classified in software:
- Medical record software:
It records and update the medical records electronically which shows the immunization, surgeries, test results.
- Patient can book appointment any time.
- Patient would get automated reminder calls/text.
- The equipment would be reserved for the appointment beforehand.
- Patient can cancel or reschedules appointments.
Patient Encounter Software:
- It provides electronic check-in to patient.
- Patients can track the time they have wait at the lobby.
- Patients dietary plans an exercise schedules can be planned.
Medical Billing Software:
- Patients accounts can be managed.
- Automated bills and reminders for payments can be generated.
- Insurance can be verified. (What Are the Features of Patient Management Software? 2018)
2.3. Commercial Queue Management Systems
The examples of the commercial queue management system are:
- Centralized Control Queue System (VSQ3010):
It is high end solution that has a server that can support up to 20 departments. Every department can have services up to 32 and counters up to 60. It is compatible to network, but they needed to be connected to LAN or intranet. They can be used by health institutes that provide customer with real time service with SMS notification. Example: QLess, WaveTec, Macquarie Student help desk, NSW Services etc.
Centralized Queue System
- Advanced Queue System (VSQ2010e Or VSQ2020e):
It is designed for single department and can support 8-16 services and 25 counters. It is widely used when there are many counters and the display need to convey where the customer needs to proceed and there is even a voice activated system. Examples:
Advanced Queuing System
- Stand-alone queuing System (VSQ1200 or VSQ1300e):
It is designed for single counter with single service operation. In this the number can be called in random or sequential manner. It is for the companies which are budget conscious. Examples: McDonald’s, KFC, Hungry Jacks etc. (QUEUE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM)http://www.viscomtech.com/myq/queue-management-system/)
Stand-Alone Queuing System
With all the benefits and all the ways, it is useful to the company it still has many challenges such as:
- The biggest challenges are to pass the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance that require whether it is secure for both patients as well as doctors.
- Financial are also the challenges as the healthcare costs are rising as there is an increase in energy and competition among hospitals and the pressure and high cost of software.
- Patient satisfaction is the biggest challenges as whether they would like queuing system, and would it provide them faster treatment and how many of them would like this technology and compile with it. (Sullivan, M., 2013)
- Complex Design is the challenge as it needs user experience and interface.
- Cooperation of all employees is very much needed while the implementation of the system is done.
- If there is a data breach, problems can arise.
The benefits of having a patient Queuing System are:
- The biggest benefits are it pass the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance that require whether it is secure for both patients as well as doctors.
- It provides with the arrival pattern of the patient like they make the arrival of the patient in batches rather than having it one at a time.
- It is easier to organizes the appointments and priorities any appointment.
- It helps in entertaining the customers while they are waiting.
- It provides with the feature of hardware independence as the companies needs to just install a kiosk, a display unit and an audio equipment system.
- It would provide customers with the ability to pre-book the appointment before they arrive at the store via a website or application.
- It allows the customers to wait anywhere may be home, cafes instead of lobby or the waiting room.
- It would provide SMS Reminders.
- It improves the quality of service. (HEALTHCARE, 2014)
3.3. Working and Design of System:
This technology will make patients life easier and patients can just swipe and go for their check-ups, chemotherapy, radiology and consultation by making appointments through kiosk system as it is used in Blacktown Hospital and it is proven to be a success in St. George Hospital.
The patient can swipe their Medicare cards and then they can directly go to the medical process and doesn’t need to seat and wait in the queue. It will make procedures faster and easier for the patients and they can relax anywhere while they are waiting.
It also provides ease to the staff as they don’t have to seat and take appointments. The system also comes with multiple languages and for old peoples who cannot use the machine they would be volunteer’s who would guide them. (New technology makes life easier for patients,2017)
Working Model (Intelligent Patient Queue Management System,2018)
- From the business prospective, the working would be customers can book tickets on application in their mobile or even at the tablets that are present in the reception and select which doctor or in which department they need to go.
- The reception or the waiting room would be installed with the television which would display called / booked tickets and where the called patients need to proceed.
- The system would also be able to monitor the staff performance and get the customers feedback that would help or long term. (https://skiplino.com/ )
Patient’s movement in the hospital from arrival to departure. (Ahmad, B. A., Khairatul, K., & Farnaza, A. (2017)
- The patient ticketing system would be having pre-documented feature to estimate the waiting time of the patients.
- On the first visit to the hospital, the patients need to do a registration at the counter in which the waiting time of that procedure would be less than 15mins and the pre-consultation would have waiting time which would be less than 30mins.
- The consultation with the doctors would be less than 30minutes. For the pharmacy, the documented time would be less than 30 minutes.
- The total time from registration to consultation would be completed in less than 90 minutes.
- The waiting time from consultation to the payment counter would be estimated as less than 15minutes.
To increase the efficiency of the system and to implement using two solutions
1)linear queuing system
2)Virtual queuing system based on their environment.
The company needs to have an appointment or ticket machine that could be either Kiosk for walk in customer, Mobile SMS or application.
To engage patient while they are waiting, they can interaction TV to show details of their waiting time.
Even the company can have a feedback form in kiosk, so that you get to know if the patient like this service. (Patient Flow Management for Hospitals & Clinic, https://www.wavetec.com/industries/healthcare/hospitals-and-clinics/ )
- Company could fall in data breaching, so it is great to have security policies ready beforehand.
- The staff members should support the idea that the queuing system should be implemented, and they would work together as a team to get this implemented.
- Resource allocation needs to be done considering the number of doctors and patients’ ratio. Such that the waiting time can be decreased.
- Regular technical check on the machine such that they should delay the waiting time of the patients.
- If the budget from the government can be increased, if we can have more machine for the treatment that would be well and good.
- The company should try the whole system before they start pointing out the negative response.
- Hire some volunteers who can help patients understand the use of kiosk machine.
- If possible, we can have a dedicated area for Wig Library and have a multipurpose space for education such as Yoga, mediation etc. such that patients get engaged in different activities and the seat area would also be not needed to change much.
- As it is a cancer centre, we need to think what would be good to provide them a comfortable like the waiting room should have windows so that they get exposure to sunlight.
The proposed Patient queuing Management System is the necessary system that every hospital should have. It would be very beneficial for the hospitals to keep their patients happy and providing them with faster service.
The working of this system or solutions would provide an ease to the hospital in comparison to competitors as they would attract more customer. It would also help the hospitals to stand alone among the competitors. For the patients, it would be great initiative that any hospital would take.
- Qmatic, 2018, Retrieved from, https://www.qmatic.com/industries/healthcare/
- Mardiah F.P., Basri M.H., (2013), “The Analysis of Appointment System to Reduce Outpatient Waiting Time at Indonesia’s Public Hospital.”
- What Are the Features of Patient Management Software?, 2018, Retrieved from, https://selecthub.com/medical-software/patient-management-software-features/
- QUEUE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM)http://www.viscomtech.com/myq/queue-management-system/
- Sullivan,M. , 2013, “The Top Five Challenges Facing Today’s Hospitals” , Retrieved from, https://blog.schneider-electric.com/building-management/2013/10/17/top-five-challenges-facing-todays-hospitals/
- HEALTHCARE, 2014, Retrieved from, http://queuemanagementsystems.com/solutions/healthcare/
- New technology makes life easier for patients,2017, Retrieved From, https://thepulse.org.au/2017/11/03/new-technology-makes-life-easier-for-patients/
- Intelligent Patient Queue Management System,2018 Retrieved From, http://www.advantech.net.au/iretail-hospitality/solutions/detail/intelligent-patient-queue-management-system
- Ahmad, B. A., Khairatul, K., & Farnaza, A. (2017). An assessment of patient waiting and consultation time in a primary healthcare clinic. Malaysian family physician: the official journal of the Academy of Family Physicians of Malaysia, 12(1), 14-21.
- Patient Flow Management for Hospitals & Clinic,https://www.wavetec.com/industries/healthcare/hospitals-and-clinics/
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