Have you ever made an online reservation at your favorite restaurant? What if you could do the same for an emergency room visit?
Tyler Kiley, a 23-year-old Powder Springs entrepreneur, has applied a practice used by the restaurant industry as a remedy to long waits at hospitals. Two years ago, Kiley launched InQuickER, an online service that lets users hold their places in line in the emergency room.
Here’s how it works: People go to the company’s Web site, which shows the next available time at the closest hospital that uses the service. Users are then directed to a page where they describe their symptoms. The reserved time is usually determined by the charge nurse, who factors in current patient load, time of day and ambulance runs.
The cost is $24.99 per use.
So far, three hospitals use the system, although Smyrna’s Emory-Adventist Hospital is the only one in Georgia.
The service isn’t for everyone. If you have symptoms consistent with a stroke or heart attack, Kiley advises people to call 911.
An official at Emory-Adventist, an 88-bed hospital, said it’s helped the ER become more efficient.
And there’s an added benefit.
“The biggest selling point for nurses is that the patients are happy. That’s just something not seen in the emergency room,” said Brandon Dickey, director of the hospital’s emergency department, which sees about 23,000 patients annually.
Dickey said the hospital has more than 1,000 visits through InQuickER, with 11 percent repeat users. An average ER wait during busy hours (10 a.m. to 10 p.m.) is between two and three hours.
An Internet programmer by profession, Kiley knew other industries were using the Internet and reservation systems. “I said, ‘Why don’t we expand this to a field where it’s really, really needed?”