Adrenaline and stress often run high in the emergency department for both staff and patients alike. According to a study published in July 2021 by the Annals of Emergency Medicine, healthcare workers in hospital emergency departments are at an increased risk for anxiety, burnout, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder while coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study, which was done in 20 emergency departments at U.S. hospitals, found that symptoms of anxiety and burnout were prevalent across the full spectrum of emergency department staff during the pandemic. Even more, as many as one-fifth of healthcare employees are at risk for PTSD. Given this, it's never been more critical for health systems to prioritize improving ED staff efficiencies.
Stericycle IQ Navigator+ can help mitigate stress and the risk of burnout for ED staff by alleviating the communication burden and freeing them for higher-value activities. It can also help notify staff of patient arrivals and follow-up with patients so they can self-schedule future appointments.
Powered by Stericycle Intelligent Scheduling, IQ Navigator+ can help improve staff efficiencies and care coordination in four important ways.
Receive Notifications to Better Prepare for Arriving Patients
Knowing when patients will arrive at your emergency department can allow your staff to prepare space and supplies ahead of time. This is especially important now as EDs across the nation are being flooded again as COVID-19 cases surge.
Having this insight also enables you to ensure that a staff member is there to greet them the moment they walk in. Having that first positive patient experience is especially important in the ED, where patient satisfaction rates tend to be low.
With Stericycle IQ Navigator+, arrival notifications can be sent to staff 15 minutes before patients arrive, giving your staff plenty of time to prepare. Even more, IQ Navigator+ can also notify you when a new patient books an appointment or posts feedback.
New patient reminders can be sent if a patient has not been reviewed after 15 minutes, and a patient cancellation is sent when a patient has canceled their appointment. Each of these notifications keeps your staff informed and can improve the patient experience both before and after patients' arrivals.
Provide Next Steps & Answer Patient Questions
For patients, seeing where they are in their ED journey helps keep them informed as to when they will be seen, how long it will take, and what will be happening. Stericycle IQ Navigator+ provides each patient with an up-to-the-minute, step-by-step look at their ED journey. This means that patients will no longer burden your staff with these constant questions.
Additionally, being in the ED — even for non-life-threatening concerns — can cause patients to have anxiety. The "Next Steps" view reassures patients about what is taking place, and if they have questions or need something, they can use the "How Can We Help?" feature to interact with hospital staff.
Share Visit Information with Family
When patients are in your emergency department, friends and family want to stay updated on their progress. Because of this, your staff likely receives many inbound calls and check-in desk visits from family members with questions about their patient.
Stericycle IQ Navigator+ allows patients to share their visit information with their families and/or trusted contacts. Family and friends can see where patients are in their ED journey—whether that's waiting to be seen by a doctor, waiting on testing or lab results, or having been discharged and is ready to be picked up from the hospital.
Allow Patients to Schedule Follow-Up Appointments Online
Scheduling follow-up appointments with patients after being discharged can be a significant burden on your staff. Enabling patients to self-schedule their follow-up appointment can reduce staff burden and improve adherence, health outcomes, and revenue retention.
With IQ Navigator+, patients are sent a text message with a link to schedule their appointment immediately following discharge. In addition, IQ Navigator connects directly to your EHR, so it can use AI to pull in specific doctor information or instructions.
One Stericycle client shared: "Our patients deserve to know what is happening next, and in keeping patients informed, we build trust and reduce anxiety. IQ Navigator+ provides us with a valuable tool and means by which we are able to keep patients informed."
The risk for ED staff burden out is high right now due to the pandemic, and a solution like IQ Navigator+ can help by improving your staff efficiency and allowing them to focus on more significant tasks at hand. Even more, it will enable patients to feel in control of their visit through simple scheduling and automatic updates on their personal device—all of which can lead to increased patient satisfaction and experience. To learn more about IQ Navigator+, watch our on-demand webinar below—"Turn Your ED Into A Profit Center."