The ER Express Acuity Safeguard is a built-in patient safety tool designed to prevent patients with potentially life-threatening conditions from making online reservations. Recent enhancements to the Acuity Safeguard introduced the ability for health systems to block reservations based on a patient’s age or divert the patient to a more appropriate location or setting based on their symptoms or age. Additionally, ER Express can program custom patient-facing messages for reservation blocks or diversions. Read through the article below to learn more about the Acuity Safeguard configuration options.
If you would like to learn more about managing your Acuity Safeguard, please visit this help desk article: How to manage the Acuity Safeguard
Symptom-based reservation blocking helps to prevent patients with potentially severe conditions from waiting at home or delaying treatment. The ER Express system automatically scans a patient’s chief complaint on the reservation form for pre-determined keywords and phrases that may be indicative of life-threatening conditions. If a reservation is blocked due to the patient’s acuity, the ER Express system will prevent the patient from checking-in online at any location for 24 hours. The "Critical Symptom" list is fully customizable as is the patient-facing “Blocked Reservation” message.
Below is an example of our default acuity block message.
Age-based reservation blocking – a new enhancement to our Acuity Safeguard – prevents patients from making a reservation based on customizable age parameters. For example, a health system can configure the ER Express application to automatically block patients over the age of 16 from checking into a pediatric clinic or prevent a parent from making a reservation at an adult urgent care for their infant child.
Like an acuity block, health systems can customize the patient-facing message displayed in the event of an age block. For reference, our default message for an age-based reservation block reads: “For patient safety reasons, we do not allow online check-ins for certain age ranges. Please come into our clinic and we will be happy to treat you on a walk-in basis.”
In some situations, a health system may wish to prevent a patient’s online reservation without displaying an urgent message to the patient to call 911 or go immediately to the ER. Symptom-based diversions are intended to block reservations for unavailable services (ex. if the selected location does not offer labs/rads) or for conditions appropriate for the facility but not for online check-in.
The patient-facing message displayed in the event of a diverted reservation is customizable. Below is an example of our default acuity diversion message.
To learn how to view diverted or blocked patients in the patient level report, please refer to this help desk article: How to View Blocked or Diverted Patients
Age-based reservation diversions are similar to age-based blocks. Unlike a block, however, diversions allow patients to check-in online at a different location that may be more appropriate for their age. Age parameters are customizable as is the patient-facing message.
For reference, the default message reads: “For patient safety reasons, we do not allow online check-ins for certain age ranges. Please come into our clinic and we will be happy to treat you on a walk-in basis.”
Finally, health systems can flag certain symptoms that may require special attention from facility staff prior to a patient’s arrival. Flagged reservations have no effect on a patient’s ability to check-in online – they simply provide a visual cue for facility staff to investigate further.
Below is an example of a flagged reservation in the ER Express Control Panel.