Patient wait times is the main problem facing doctors in clinics and small medical offices and it is also the main reason why patients avoid doctor appointments. Many hourly workers perceive it to be too costly to miss work. This ultimately drains a society's resources as patients require hospitalization.
Long wait times is the root cause for doctors to lose patients. In a pre-pandemic survey reported by CNBC, 63% of patients said that the patient wait time was the most stressful aspect of a doctor's visit.
Reducing patient wait times has economic and psychological benefits for both the patient and the doctor:
- Increased doctor productivity and therefore enhanced revenue. A primary care practice that sees just one more patient a day could add $25,000 annually to its bottom line, while a specialty group might experience an increase of $50,000 a year.
- More patients are treated, decreasing the stress of waiting to see a doctor (😇 doctor 😀 patient)
- Enhances patient productivity (patients return to work faster which is crucial for hourly employees)
- Giving every person in the world 20-45 minutes back of their life for every appointment.
Doctors say that the most stressful part of a patient's visit is not knowing when the patient is ready to be treated and this anxiety leads to doctor burnout.
Why? because the doctor has to wait for:
- The nurse to perform a preliminary patient assessment, take vitals, perhaps X-rays, and enter that information into the patient's medical record.
- If the patient is scheduled for surgery, then the patient's vitals have to stabilize and an anesthetic has to applied before the doctor can see the patient.
- And finally, the nurse has to find the doctor. But the doctor may be with another patient, on the phone consulting with another doctor, performing administrative tasks, or on a break.
- And some doctors can be off-site.
Doctors say that mobile phones are not the solution since:
- Email and SMS are inherently insecure and are not HIPAA compliant.
- Mobile phones cannot be used in front of a patient to check messages due to the embedded camera.
- Conteporary fashion designs for females usually do not provide pockets suitable to store their mobile phones.
The Patient is in app suite reduce patient wait times in the following ways:
- Doctors receive a secure notification on their Apple Watch, iPhone, or via an announcement on an Apple smart speaker such as the HomePod mini or any AirPlay 2 speaker. The doctor is able to provide an estimate time of arrival or decline the assignment via a simple touch of a button on their Apple Watch. Staff without an Apple Watch may reply using an Apple smart speaker as we have implemented industry leading natural language processing algorithms customized for patient assignments and regional American dialects. More specifically, the Doctor app is integrated with Siri on iPhone, Apple Watch, and HomePod.
- The notification provides the doctor with the room name and any notes from the nurse and is able to override the "Do Not Disturb" setting for critical announcements.
- All of The Patient is in apps are tightly integrated with FaceTime and provide the doctor with a directory of available colleagues and patients. Due to this tight integration, users do not have to rummage through their address book but rather the app will present a “Connect with FaceTime” button when appropriate.
- After completion, the doctor can inform the charge nurse with a simple tap in the Apple Watch app or via Siri. The Charge Nurse app displays the task completion, availability of the doctor, and allows a staff member to escort the patient to their next step in the process.
- A staff member can be quickly assigned to clean the room in preparation for the next patient and this further reduces patient wait times as seen below:
The primary problem in hospitals is the cost for starting surgery late and its consequence in overtime salaries which reduces the profits for each surgery. In America, hospitals pay overtime as many surgeons are considered shift-based contractors. In public hospitals in the UK, surgeons are not payed for overtime so they will not start a surgery which may finish after the end of their shift.
The Charge Nurse app addresses the problem of starting surgery late by:
- Grouping staff into teams
- Automatically notifies each staff member of team assignments
- Providing a global view of hospitals rooms, staff, teams, and assignments
- Visualizing the location of offsite doctors (with the staff member's permission)
- Visualizing the location of onsite doctors (with the staff member's permission)
- Supporting audio calls directly to a doctor's Apple Watch with a touch of a button
The Patient is in app suite provides care continuity and care coordination services for chronic or acute illness including cardiac and respiratoy diseases such as Covid-19. Through its integration with Apple’s HealthKit and the Health, Blood Oxygen, and ECG apps on the iPhone and Apple Watch; the app suite democratizes health care for everyone in the world irrespective of location or timezone by enabling real-time cardiac and respiratory telehealth services. More specifically, the Patient app provides the following features:
- Care Continuity and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM). Traditionally, remote patient monitoring requires the at-home patient to contract with a third party monitoring service and rent one or more monitoring device. Periodically, the remote monitoring company will create a high-level report and sell it to the patient’s doctor. The doctor will then bill the patient’s insurance company for his time, the cost of the report, the cost of the remote monitoring service, and the rental devices. Due to this added cost, insurance companies will only authorize the doctor to review a patient’s health data infrequently and never daily. To enable a care team to continually review a patient's health data, our apps empower the patient to securely transmit his health data directly to the care team in real-time and connect with them at any time of day or night. Specifically,
- Patients can securely stream their live cardiac and respiratory data in real-time to their care team.
- Patients can securely send their historical health data to their care team so that the care team may continually review the patient’s condition with updated health data.
- Patients can securely send their ECG to their care team for immediate review. Whenever the patient determines that an ECG review is needed, the patient app can send both the ECG report and the last 72 hours of contextual cardiac data directly to the cardiac team.
- Patients may monitor for the onset of acute illness such as COVID-19 and other cardiac and respiratory illness.
- Telehealth/Telemedicine Services. Patients may request a FaceTime conference call with the care team. Rather than wait to contact the doctor’s office during regular hours, each care team member using the doctor’s version of the Patient is in app will receive a critical alert containing the FaceTime request. The doctor app provides a “one-tap connect” button allowing any cardiac team member to place a FaceTime call to the patient. The cardiac team is able to use the Group FaceTime capabilities to include other care experts and team members as needed. Likewise, patients should be able to include any of their caregivers on the Group FaceTime call.
- Care Coordination. Even if a patient’s condition does not require home-based monitoring, he can securely send his recent health data to his doctor prior to an appointment so that the doctor has adequate time to review the health data since the patient’s last appointment.
- Personal Health Data Analysis. Patients can export their health data into a spreadsheet and perform their own analysis with tools such as Microsoft’s Excel, Apple’s Numbers app, and Google’s Sheets.
Population Health Management (PHM) represents a fundamental change to mainstream healthcare and this reform is driving a change to traditional hospital reimbursement models in a shift from volume to value. This requires a change from the current episodic medical treatment model to a model of continuous care through a combination of inpatient and outpatient services coupled with remote patient monitoring integrated with telehealth and telemedicine services.
The Patient is in app suite was created to support continuous care through its implementation of remote patient monitoring (RPM) for many cardiac and respiratory illnesses including chronic and acute diseases such as COVID-19. Since our implementation of remote patient monitoring is tightly integrated with telehealth and telemedicine services, a patient should never hear the question "What brings you in today?" from their care team. Rather, the care team is able to securely review a patient's health data whether that is historic health data or a dozen or so of a patient's live vitals in real-time. At the micro level, individual doctors and care teams can make use of this at-home, externally collected health data to make treatments more accurate. At the macro level, local and national governments can take appropriate policy actions when they see undesirable health trends in communities.
More specifically, The Patient is in app suite contributes to Population Health Management (PHM) in the following ways:
- Securely allow patients to share their externally generated health data with care teams in support of continuous care.
- Securely allow care teams to communicate with patients based on a continuous stream of health data rather than based on episodic capture of small amounts of health data from annual physicals or emergency-room treatment.
- Enable coordination between multiple care teams from a variety of organizations and the patient and his caregivers.
- Enable care teams to track specific outcomes through continuous review of a patient's stream of health data.