4 Key Challenges Emergency Departments Face & How GetCareNow Can Help Solve Them With Automation

The Emergency Department can be a challenging place to manage, with patients coming and going at all times of the day, and workloads often reaching their peak. Moreover, staff must often handle complex scenarios, patients, and their families, all while managing a high volume of work.

The good news is that healthcare organizations can use automation to simplify some or all aspects of their ED operations. Let’s learn how automated scheduling and ER management tools like GetCareNow can help in each management area.

⚙️Problem: High Patient Volumes

Emergency departments (EDs) are on the front lines of healthcare, and their ability to handle high patient volumes is critical for efficient operation and patient satisfaction. Long wait times, growing patient dissatisfaction, and staff burnout are common results.

To combat these challenges and provide better service to patients in need of care, automated solutions can help streamline operations. 

✅Solution: Optimize Patient Flow 

Steer Health’s GetCareNow set of scheduling tools enables patients with non-life-threatening medical conditions to schedule appointments online and skip the waiting room at the ED and Urgent Care centers. This innovative tool provides projected treatment times to patients and enables them to wait from the comfort of their homes until the hospital is ready to attend to their needs.

By optimizing the patient flow with GetCareNow, you will not only make the emergency department experience quicker and more efficient for the patients. You can also free up valuable time for your clinical staff, which they, in return, can dedicate to enhanced patient care.


⚙️Problem: Staff Burnout

The ED environment is highly demanding – especially due to a ton of manual work, long working hours, high patient volume, and challenging patient behavior – and it can stress both clinical staff and patients alike. When the ED staff is overworked and fatigued, delays in treatment and other issues put patients at risk. 

Your staff turnover rate is also likely to increase due to burnout, which means you'll have to hire more employees and constantly incur higher labor costs to keep up with demand. The good news: there are solutions.


✅Solution: Empower the Clinical Staff With Digital Tools

In addition to avoiding crowded ED waiting rooms, GetCareNow expedites the check-in process for hospital staff by letting them know how many patients are planning to come in. The staff can then use the information from the patient's e-Registration to ensure that everything is properly prepared for the incoming patients' care needs.

GetCareNow offers EHR/EMR system integration to help enhance the security of patient data and bring even more efficiency to the hospital staff. As soon as the patient reserves an ED time slot via GetCareNow, the staff/registration team receives a notification of this submission and is able to instantly add any pertinent details into your EHR for patient check-in and admission.


⚙️Problem: Long Wait Times

Long wait times are a major problem in emergency departments and are frustrating for patients and the staff. When patients have long waits at the walk-in ED or Urgent Care center, they may not receive adequate attention from a doctor or nurse until several hours later. The average hospital ED patient in the United States waits more than an hour and a half to be taken to his or her room and 2.25 hours before being discharged.


✅Solution: Let Patients Comfortably Wait at Home

Using Steer Health’s GetCareNow tool, patients seeking care at emergency departments can wait from the comfort of home rather than in the crowded ED waiting rooms. After waiting from the comfort of home, 8 out of 10 patients using GetCareNow have reported waiting less than 15 minutes in the ER waiting room before seeing a health care provider. In the event of a delay, GetCareNow patients are provided updated projected treatment times via automated phone and email alerts.


⚙️Problem: Difficult Patient Behavior

Difficult patient behavior is a common problem across ED & Urgent Care centers and can have a significant impact on staff morale and the quality of care provided. Caused by a variety of factors, including pain, mental health conditions, or even substance abuse, challenging patient behavior can, at worst, lead to violence against staff members and other patients.

Automation can help develop better strategies for managing difficult situations during busy hours and reduce patient wait times so the staff can continue providing high-quality care while maintaining safety at all times.


✅Solution: Deliver Quicker ED Experiences with Automation

With GetCareNow, patients get care quicker, thus avoiding crowded waiting room experiences and any challenging behaviors by other patients. After scheduling their online ED appointments, patients can complete their intake forms and e-registration online, further streamlining the process. Once the patient arrives at their reserved appointment time, they will be triaged and roomed by the Prime ED staff. 

Booking with GetCareNow also expedites the process for the clinical hospital staff by letting them know how many patients are planning to come in and in what condition ensuring that everything is properly ready for the incoming patients.


The ED is a critical component of the healthcare ecosystem, but it’s also an area challenged with growing patient demand and increasing expectations. GetCareNow can help alleviate some of these pressures by freeing up staff to focus on the patients who really need them. Automated processes can improve workflow for both patients and providers, leading to better outcomes across all departments. 


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Learn how Steer Health’s innovative GetCareNow platform can help drive productivity and effectiveness for Emergency Departments and Urgent Care facilities and dramatically improve access to same-day care for patients.

Request a free, personalized demo today!


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