Increase Patient Satisfaction for Emergency Appointments with Online Scheduling and IQ Navigator

March 23, 2021 | Stericycle Communication Solutions

We live in a world where we can see step-by-step our FedEx or Instacart delivery, the route of an Uber or Lyft driver, and when our Domino's pizza is out of the oven. Despite this kind of transparency and expectation, there is nothing similar for patients in the healthcare world. Nor is there a tool for families anxiously awaiting the diagnosis of a loved one. That's why IQ Navigator was created.

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What is IQ Navigator?

Stericycle's new IQ Navigator solution integrates with our ER appointment scheduling solution to increase patient satisfaction and capture more patient volumes. It acts as an end-to-end patient journey tracker for patients from booking their emergency department visit through discharge, keeping patients informed every step of the way.

IQ Navigator notification for Winter Health patient indicating end of treeatment time and another notification of when patient will be moved to treatment area

How Does IQ Navigator Work?

The number one question on patients' minds in the ED is when will I be seen by a doctor. Stericycle's  IQ Navigator solution brings a consumer-like experience to the ED by using artificial intelligence (AI) to predict wait times., answer common patient questions, educate patients on labs and tests, and schedule follow-up visits.

After booking their ED appointment with our Intelligent Scheduling, patients are sent an SMS with a unique link allowing them to see wait times, appointment details, and important information about the facility they are visiting via a mobile friendly website.

Once the patient is in the ED, IQ Navigator helps them understand where they are in the treatment process and set expectations around wait times--simplifying what can be an overwhelming experience.

Features of IQ Navigator:

IQ Navigator notification for Winter Health patient indicating end of treatment time


No Download Required—There's no username, password, or any sign-up needed. Instead, IQ Navigator pulls a patient's cellular phone number from the EHR and invites them to use the navigation tool automatically through an SMS text message. All patients have to do is click a one-time-use link and verify their identity.


Reduce Staff Burden—At each step, patients see a clear description of what's happening, how they can prepare, and what's coming next. We've found that answering these basic questions saves staff around 1,500 questions per month per facility. That's hundreds of hours freed to treat patients and complete other tasks.


Share Visit with Family Members & Trusted Contacts—We've found that an average of almost three family members or trusted contacts now follow along each time a patient shares their link to their visit. These family members and trusted contacts can't see any protected health information (PHI) but can see whether the patient has seen a doctor, is waiting on lab results, or is ready to be picked up from the hospital. Not only does this reduce family and patient anxiety, but it means fewer phone calls to staff for updates.


Schedule Follow-Up Appointment Before Discharge—After their emergency room care, discharged patients receive another text message to schedule follow-up care. This links directly to your scheduling system and can even use AI to pull specific doctor's instructions, such as "follow up with a cardiologist within two days."

The Results from Utilizing IQ Navigator

There is a 50-60% patient usage when an invite is sent to the patient.  From the 40+ hospitals that are utilizing IQ Navigator, patients have said the following about IQ Navigator:

"I did not know what step was next or where in the line of patients I was situated. I feel informed more than anything."  "No one has ever shared something like this with me. I'm really glad the hospital is changing how they communicate with patients." iq navigator patients

Also, we have found a 41% increase in follow-up appointments, most of which are with sub-specialty providers. At Emory Healthcare, for example, this system generated over 1,000 incremental new visits each month. That's an estimated net new revenue of $5 million across four hospitals. Elsewhere, we've seen similar results: $1 million per facility in additional appointments that are made within two weeks of ED discharge, which doesn't include "downstream" effects potentially worth more.

graph comparing any use versus reachable mobile at four hospitals

Beyond ROI, your health system can give the follow-up care that patients need instead of the usual "treat and release" that is prevalent in emergency medicine due to time and resource constraints. Better follow-up care also means fewer readmissions in the long-run.

With our consumer-friendly software, IQ Navigator can increase patient satisfaction, capture more patient volumes, and reduce staff burden. To activate your FREE UPGRADE to IQ Navigator (current Intelligent Scheduling clients) or to schedule a demo, click here.

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