Rush River North uses GPS system to virtually eliminate wait times, boost workflow

(Rush River North)

Photo: Waiting room at Rush River North in Illinois. 

Patient wait times are no longer a concern at Rush University Medical Center’s new physician practice, thanks to a GPS system that tracks patients from the moment they walk in the door.

Rush River North is the only provider in Illinois that uses the location system technology in the outpatient setting to ensure patients don’t wait any more than 10 minutes in the waiting room and throughout the entire visit, according to Rush University Medical Center.

In fact, patients usually bypass the waiting area altogether and head directly to an exam room after check-in. The technology is just one of the way’s Rush intends to improve the patient experience and the delivery of outpatient care. Its goal is to prevent unnecessary care delays searching for patients and more time for providers to spend with patients, according to the article.

“This technology improves communication among our clinicians, and between providers and patients,” Antonio Bianco, M.D., Ph.D., president of Rush University Medical Group, says in the article. “We are better able to function as a care team. And better communication means better care.”

The technology requires both staff and patients to wear locator badges so clinicians can track how long patients have been waiting and which provider needs to see them. The information is displayed on a map via color-coded symbols.

So far patients have been pleased with their experience, Rush reports. The practice, which opened in April and provides primary and specialty care, implemented the technology in September and so far more than 350 patients have used the tool.

In addition to addressing patient delays, the organization intends to use the technology to make sure the practice operates at peak performance by tracking staffing needs and improving workflow.