Patients at Stanford Health Care can check in a single time for multiple visits within the hospital system, which decreases time staff spend on registration by 57%.
- One person can provide multiple registrations.
- Patients spend 70% less time at registration.
- Providers are alerted when patients are ready for services.
Patient access leaders at Palo Alto, CA-based Stanford Health Care (SHC) recently overhauled the “status quo” of patient registration, reports Anna Dapelo-Garcia, MPA/HSA, administrative director of patient access services.
“Patient registration has remained relatively unchanged for many years, across hospital and ambulatory care settings,” says Dapelo-Garcia. “It is a process patients expect as part of their healthcare journey.”
From the patient’s perspective, however, it can be time-consuming and repetitive. A “universal registration” system at Stanford allows patients to check in a single time for multiple same-day visits within the hospital system. This process includes clinic visits, radiology services, procedures, and/or laboratory services.
“This has decreased time spent on this function for patients by 70%,” says Dapelo-Garcia. “For staff, we have realized a 57% reduction in registration time.” This reduction is because one person can provide multiple registrations. “Patient registration has been transformed,” says Dapelo-Garcia. “What was a common registration model for patients is radically different.”
Bode K. Adeniyi, patient registration manager at the SHC Cancer Center South Bay in San Jose, CA, says the new registration system shows patients their time is valued. “We removed waste associated with a traditionally repetitive, complicated process,” says Adeniyi. “All of this ultimately results in time being returned to the patient during their visit.”
Shannon Jamarck, patient registration manager at the SHC Neuroscience Health Center in Palo Alto, notes that patients face many challenges in their day-to-day lives. “Mobility and memory are just a few struggles,” says Jamarck. “This one-stop process gives them back control and ease. We have given them a little independence back into their lives.”
The Stanford Health Care Neuro-science Health Center implemented the Patient Pass System in January 2016. This tool complements the health system’s universal registration system. “This is cutting-edge technology,” says Dapelo-Garcia. “Patients at this location are experiencing a registration process not utilized at any other healthcare facility.” The Patient Pass System allows the patient to alert providers when the patient is ready for services. These steps occur:
- Patients register at the central registration area for the day. “All registration requirements are validated in a single encounter,” says Dapelo-Garcia.
- Registrars give the patient a Patient Pass for each encounter, which includes the patient’s name (truncated for patient privacy), appointment date and time, provider name, and bar code.
- Patients scan the Patient Pass at a Patient Arrival Station, which is found in every service area.
- Once the Patient Pass is scanned, the patient’s visit is updated from “present” to “arrived.” “This alerts the clinical team that the patient has arrived and is ready for service,” says Dapelo-Garcia.
Patient Pass Arrival Stations are strategically placed to accommodate disabled patients. “On-screen messaging to patients is simple and intuitive,” says Dapelo-Garcia. “Patient adoption rate has been in the 90th percentile.”
Stanford Health Care’s Patient Access Services department plans to use Universal Registration and the Patient Pass System in future medical building settings, as well as the new hospital facility in 2018.
“Patients have commented that they appreciate that they no longer have to stand in a registration line multiple times in one day,” says Dapelo-Garcia.
- Anna Dapelo-Garcia, MPA/HSA, Patient Access Services, Stanford Health Care, Palo Alto, CA. Telephone: (650) 723-9292.