New App Cuts Atlanta Residents’ Wait Time for Urgent Care

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A newly-released app could significantly reduce the amount of time you and your family sit in the waiting room — that is, if you live in the Atlanta area.

According to a June 22 WABE article, tech company Clockwise.MD is currently rolling out a mobile app and real-time monitors that track wait times at pediatric urgent care centers throughout the area. When a doctor or physician is available, the app sends a text to the patient.

When a doctor or physician is available, the app sends a text to the patient.
When a doctor or physician is available, the app sends a text to the patient.

For the physicians working at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the app is already starting to provide a little more room to breathe.

“Our lobbies used to get kind of crazy, with tons of children and parents and siblings waiting there,” said Beth Gansel, an administrative resource nurse at the clinic. “This gives the parents an option to wait in their car or go do some shopping or go home and actually wait.”

Over recent years, urgent care clinics have become a popular alternative to the emergency room. While emergency room visits cost as much as $1,500 on average, visiting an urgent care center normally costs less than $150.

And while this has benefited many people, surging demand for urgent care has led to longer wait times — meaning it’s not as likely for someone to get the treatment they need for an urgent health concern when they need it.

The Clockwise.MD app combats long wait times by allowing people to book appointments online; additionally, people can walk into an urgent care clinic and save their space in line this way.

Michael Burke, the founder of Clockwise.MD, said the idea for the app came to him during a conversation about restaurant wait times a couple of years ago, WABE reported.

“People really, really dislike waits that they perceive as unfair,” Burke said. “By keeping in communication about when they can expect to be seen and who’s in front of them, it dramatically reduces the stress of waiting.”

In addition to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Clockwise.MD app also works at Piedmont Urgent Care by Wellstreet, Atlanta Pediatric Therapy and Children’s Medical Group of Atlanta. The app’s developers plan to make a nationwide roll-out within the near future.

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