VUMC emergency departments offer patient self-registration

July 13, 2023

Last month the three emergency departments on Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s main campus—adult, pediatric, psychiatric—launched patient self-registration via mobile device and the VUMC electronic patient portal, My Health at Vanderbilt (MHAV).

“This allows our registration staff to be very efficient and gives us more time to spend with any patients who need assistance with the registration process,” said Don Enck, manager of ED registration. “With self-registration available, we’re getting registration completed without delay as patients arrive, such that no patients ever again need find themselves relegated far down a list of those awaiting ED registration.”

For current patients, much of the registration information is autofilled based on information from their MHAV accounts. “This means no longer having to hunt in your wallet for things like your driver’s license and insurance card,” Enck said.

As before, arriving patients check in with staff at reception, briefly identifying themselves and their reason for visiting the ED. Following the initial clinical evaluation, also known as triage, those in stable condition are invited to self-register using the MHAV mobile app, either on their own device or on a loaner tablet available from registration.

Any patients in less than stable condition or otherwise unable to self-register are assisted by staff, as are patients without a MHAV account. (The latter are sent a link, via email or text, inviting them to register on MHAV, which recently welcomed its millionth registered user.)

Enck said that ED registration, like clinic registration, involves collecting information such as health insurance (which is verified in the background via internet connection to the carrier’s membership database), basic demographic information, employment status and employer, and veteran status.

Enck credits the project to the work of Grace Upleger, director, patient financial services/ED registration, and two Health IT senior application analysts, William Daniels and Angela Knalls.

Late this summer, under an initiative called virtual front desk, MHAV members will check in for clinic appointments via their mobile device or on loner tablets. Patients with the MHAV mobile app on their cellphones will not have to go to a front desk at all. At larger outpatient locations, check-in staff will be posted at entrances to help patients get checked in before proceeding to individual clinics. Now in pilot testing, virtual front desk will expand to adult clinics in September and October.

VUMC has the article.

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