ED self-scheduling bears fruit for McLaren

An effort to reduce emergency department wait times is proving successful for Grand Blanc, Mich.-based McLaren Health.

Nearly a dozen EDs across the system now offer an online scheduling option for patients seeking non-life-threatening care. The tool allows patients to see upcoming treatment times and select a slot that works best for their schedule, allowing them to wait at home until the appointment time.

McLaren clinicians review all virtual check-ins for symptoms that may suggest a severe condition that requires immediate attention. Clinicians contact these individuals directly, instructing them to call 911 or immediately go to the nearest ED.

McLaren first piloted online ED scheduling in late 2019, though the pandemic pushed expansion efforts to 2022. In total, the self-scheduling option is now available at 11 of the system's hospital-based and freestanding EDs. 

In the first six months of the current fiscal year, the online scheduling option has been used more than 7,700 times, outpacing usage from the same period a year prior, a McLaren spokesperson told Becker's May 7. 

"Sites offering online registration have experienced a steady increase in utilization of the service," the spokesperson said. 

McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac and McLaren Clarkston (Mich.) are the latest two hospitals to adopt the technology, allowing both EDs to record lower on-site wait times than the industry average. 

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