How it works (sample workflow)
Curbside codes and short numbers
Live demo (you can try it anytime)
Once you've read this article, we next recommend: Curbside Queuing Collateral Examples
How it works
Curbside queuing starts by patients texting a unique phrase to (we call it a 'curbside code') to a dedicated phone number.
Typically, the practice has prominent signs in the parking lot, postcards to hand to patients at the door, and screeners/greeters to explain the process to patients.
See collateral and signage examples here: Curbside Queuing Collateral Examples
A sample workflow
- Patient texts the curbside code to a short number.
- The system auto responds with short instructions and with a secure link.
- The patient clicks on the link and fills in the sign-in form (name, DOB, chief complaint, etc.).
- The system places the patient in order of arrival on the Patient Queue for your staff to see, OR, if you have integrated our system with your practice management/EMR, automatically writes the patient into the PM/EMR calendar.
- Customizable workflow triggers in the Patient Queue send patients a text when the staff are ready to bring them into the lobby.
Curbside codes and short numbers
- Each customer has its own set of curbside codes (for example, Westwood Urgent Care's is "Westwood").
- For multi-campus customers, we set up a single code, and once patients click on the link, they choose their location from a list of short (aka "friendly") names.
- Patients will text a five-digit "short number" - ER Express will provide this number for you. Short numbers are designed for high-volume business use and have high (99%) deliverability rates.
- Normal ten-digit numbers are designed for personal use, and carriers will treat businesses who use them to send text messages as spam.
- Read more about short numbers vs. long numbers here.
Demo - Try it now!
Want to see how it works? Text "Westwood" to 34947
Best practices - for safety AND patient acquisition
- Curbside queuing promotes safety for both patients and staff and makes it easy to sign in from their carb or the curb.
- Additionally, astute health systems and clinics use it to attract patients by educating patients about this process BEFORE they arrive.
- It can reassure patients that they will minimize the time they spend in the lobby and can persuade them to choose your practice over a competitor's.
- 80-90% of patients will follow the instructions without problems.
- Some patients do arrive without a phone or with a flip phone, or just do not want to use their phone.
- We recommend having the staff sign in the patient - some practices will have their greeters/screeners do it.
- The ER Express Patient Queue has an "Easy Add" button for staff to sign-in patients directly from the queue
Click on the blue circle in the top right
...Which pops open the sign-in form
- Our patient population is not tech-savvy. Will they do it? Yes. We have customers in all settings, with patients at all age levels using it. 80-90% of patients will text without any problem.
- What if the patient cannot (or does not want to) text? Our system comes with an 'Easy Add' button that allows staff to add patients directly to the queue.
- Is texting secure? I thought we should not use texting for PHI. No PHI is transmitted via text message. When patients text the curbside code, our system sends an automated message with a link that opens a secure, HIPAA-compliant browser session for patient to use for their sign-in.