Northern Health launching a new way to register after-hours

Northern Health launching a new way to register after-hours

Northern Health is implementing a new method for after-hours patient registration across the region following a successful pilot project.

At most NH facilities, after-hours registration of patients is done by clinical (nursing) staff after they have medically assessed, or triaged, the patient. The only facility that offers 24/7 in-person patient registration staffed by registration clerks is the University Hospital of Northern BC (UHNBC) in Prince George.

Beginning in April 2017, after-hours patients at 10 NH facilities will register using technology that automatically connects with trained NH registration clerks at a central office within UHNBC. This includes the McBride and District Hospital and the Valemount Community Health Centre.

During remote registration hours, patients will continue to be medically assessed by clinical staff when they arrive at their local hospital. Patients will then be directed to the after-hours remote registration video-phone for their registration process.

“Northern Health is committed to seeking creative and practical solutions for improving services through innovation,” said Jeff Hunter, NH Chief Information Officer. “The remote registration system’s use of technology provides a personal and efficient registration service to our patients, while allowing our clinical staff to focus on patient care.”

The technology allows the registration clerk to see the patient, and relevant identification such as a BC Services Card, minimizing the potential for registration errors or omissions. In cases where a patient is unable to self-register, a designated person who has patient information such as a family member can complete the registration process for the patient.

The pilot project for after-hours remote patient registration was conducted in May and June 2015 at eight NH facilities across the region. During that time, nearly 27,000 emergency department patients were registered via the remote system.

A further 12 Northern Health sites will join the remote registration system in May and June 2017.