A no-waiting emergency room thanks to InQuicker

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Quick care: Keeping track of patients signing in for an emergency room visit at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey are Ray Smith, assistant patient care manager, Paul Zielske, director of patient care services, and Jacqueline Spicer, unit secretary. | Supplied photo


Cover: First-grade teacher Emily Brodsky got in and out of Ingalls Urgent Aid Center in Flossmoor promptly by using InQuicker from her smartphone while at school.

Editor: John K. Ryan,

Cover/Page Design: Jennifer Frencl

To Advertise: Lisa Tatina,

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Flossmoor first-grade teacher Emily Brodsky gives Ingalls’ InQuicker service high marks for the speedy service she recently received while battling a severe ear infection.

Juggling a demanding work schedule with a lengthy commute to and from Chicago each day, Brodsky admits she’s guilty of doing what a lot of busy people do — putting off going to the doctor when a problem first pops up.

“My left ear had been bothering me on and off for about three weeks, but it wasn’t too bad,” she explained. “Then one Friday morning, I woke up and the pain was just horrible. It had spread to my jaw, and I was almost in tears.”

She called her regular doctor for an urgent appointment, but she wasn’t in. Determined to get care as soon as possible, Brodsky considered her other options. That’s when she remembered Ingalls Urgent Aid Center in Flossmoor. Already at school for the day, Brodsky used her smartphone’s Internet service to search for the Flossmoor center. To her delight, the InQuicker service appeared in her online search. And even better, an appointment was available immediately.

After getting someone to cover her classroom, Brodsky selected a 9 a.m. appointment, received a quick email confirmation, then drove 10 minutes to the Flossmoor Urgent Aid Center.

“I got in right at 9 a.m., saw the doctor, and I was already getting my prescription filled in the Ingalls Pharmacy by 9:40 a.m.,” she said.

A few minutes later, she was back at school, ready to greet her 24 energetic students.

“It was a very positive experience,” she said. “The only other time I had been to the Flossmoor center was for a TB test for school. I would definitely go back again.”

Brodsky, like hundreds of other satisfied InQuicker patients, appreciates being able to choose an appointment time online, and then wait in the comfort of home (or work) — instead of a busy clinic waiting room.

About InQuicker at Ingalls

Introduced in 2010, InQuicker is an innovative online registration and check-in service at the Ingalls Urgent Aid Centers in Flossmoor, Calumet City and Tinley Park.

The popular service recently was expanded to the Ingalls Emergency Department at the main hospital campus in Harvey and has received positive reviews since its March debut.

“It was (my son’s) first time being in the hospital, and the nurses and doctors were great with him,” read a recent patient satisfaction survey respondent. Another added, “It was great I was taken in right after arrival. Seen immediately by a nurse and then the doctor. I was able to discuss my concerns and was checked out/released all within an hour’s timeframe. Thank you guys. Keep up the great service.”

Like its name suggests, InQuicker makes a lengthy wait in an emergency department a thing of the past.

Modeled after the “OpenTable” online restaurant reservation program, InQuicker allows patients with non-life-threatening illnesses or injuries to schedule their urgent aid or ER visits online.

“Then, instead of spending their valuable time in a waiting room, they can wait in the comfort and convenience of their own home or workplace,” explains Mike Hicks, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Ingalls.

“Emergency department visits, by nature, are unplanned,” added Paul Zielske, director of patient care services at Ingalls. “But a lot of what we see are medical issues like a sore throat or ear infection that someone may have had for a few days and then decided to come in and get it checked out. InQuicker makes it so much more convenient. We’ve even called patients and told them ‘We’re ready for you now if you can come in.’”

And as Emily discovered, InQuicker works on smartphones, too, so you can make an appointment while you’re at work or on the train.

Then, once you arrive at your designated time at an Ingalls Urgent Aid Center or the hospital’s Emergency Department, Ingalls guarantees that you’ll be seen within 15 minutes or less by a health-care professional.

“We know people have better ways to spend their time,” Hicks added. “Our online registration process allows low-acuity patients to wait at home, rather than waiting in our waiting room. This is certainly not intended for individuals needing immediate medical treatment. If that’s the case, go to the nearest emergency department or call 911.”

In order to receive the 15-minute guarantee, individuals must provide all requested information during the online registration process and arrive on time to avoid delays.

As an extension of Ingalls Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department, Ingalls 24-Hour Urgent Aid Centers specialize in treating low-level, non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries in patients of all ages, from newborns through older adults. Each center is equipped with on-site laboratories, X-ray, CT and MRI capabilities, assuring prompt diagnosis, evaluation and treatment.

“InQuicker has been an excellent addition to the Urgent Aid Centers and now to the Ingalls Emergency Department,” Zielske added.

For more information about the InQuicker online registration and check-in system, visit www.Ingalls.org/inquicker, and click on the Ingalls location of your choice.

Provided by Ingalls Health System