SPECIAL REPORT: Reducing healthcare wait times
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Oct. 30, 2015) -- It's getting to the time of year when the seasonal sicknesses start going around, and one local health care group recognizes that. They've rolled out a modern way to help prevent the spread of germs, which is the most common way you get sick. Equally as important to some, it'll prevent you from having to wait. Aurora Healthcare unveiled a new option on their website that allows you to make a reservation. You can compare wait times and a text message will be sent to your phone when it's getting close to your time with a doctor.
"So instead of waiting in our waiting area for an appointment, they're able to book an appointment from home, show up and be seen quickly," said Doctor Andy Anderson, Chief Medical Officer for Aurora Healthcare.
13 urgent cares with in the Aurora group have this.
"It's very helpful for patients not to be unnecessarily exposed to others who may be sick, so this minimizes that exposure," Dr. Anderson said.
Columbia St. Mary's Hospital has an online check in for their urgent care in Glendale, and at their emergency rooms in Milwaukee and Ozaukee. Wheaton Franciscan allows you to go online and see the urgent care wait time, and call in to reserve your spot. They have online appointment requests for regular doctors.
Aurora found that folks who reserved a spot online had an average wait time of eight minutes, versus 23 minutes for those who just walk in. That's a lot of time for germs to spread, potentially making more people sick. It's also a lot of time saved sitting around waiting.