From our Smarty Health Corner and our friends at Levine Children’s Hospital
Waiting in an urgent care for hours can be uncomfortable, especially if you or your child is sick. Similar to airline check-ins or restaurant reservations, a new urgent care reservation system now allows patients to reserve a spot online for a same-day reservation at all 28 Carolinas HealthCare System urgent care locations.
Thanks to a pilot version of that program, busy mom Allison Potvin avoided a long wait when her two year-old daughter was sick in June.
That day, after picking her up from daycare, Potvin’s daughter started crying uncontrollably and holding her ear. Potvin knew she needed to see a pediatrician, but her regular doctor’s offices were closed. After discovering the nearest urgent cares had long waits, Potvin reserved her spot online at one of the pilot locations, Carolinas HealthCare Children’s Urgent Care – Blakeney.
Reserving Savannah’s spot online gave Potvin enough time to fix a quick dinner in Belmont, get in the car and drive to their slated reservation. They saw a provider within minutes after checking in at the kiosk in the lobby.
“Any child doesn’t want to sit around and wait, but a sick child is even less patient,” says Potvin. “To try to keep them comfortable in a waiting room full of other sick children that are crying and fussing is just dreadful. It was very convenient to choose a time and just go.”
The pilot version of the program saw that, on average, using the new reservation system decreased wait times by 64 percent.
“It gives the patient a way to space out their arrivals. They don’t have to come and wait in a waiting room full of sick people, and they’re getting timely service on their schedule,” says Christopher Branner, MD, urgent care pediatrician and assistant specialty medical director with Carolinas HealthCare System.
Learn more about how the new reservation system works.