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A Better Way to Wait

New Skip the Waiting Room website lets walk-in clinic users wait at home


“There has to be a better way,” Mark Richardson thought to himself, on hour-four of his wait to see a doctor in an Island walk-in clinic.

The 36-year-old Richmond, PEI native and Computer Science graduate noticed everyone waiting along with him was looking at a smart phone.

“ I thought ‘there is no reason things can’t be dynamic, when it is time for your appointment you can be notified using technology,’” he said.

He took this experience and he and his partners Ron Myers, Chris Weeks and Luke Rooney have developed a responsive website, accessible by computer or phone, and started Skip the Waiting Room, a pilot project that makes it more convenient for Islanders to access health care services.
Because of Richardson’s ingenuity and hard work, instead of spending time in the waiting room when they are ill, Islanders now have the option to register online and wait at home or at work to see a doctor.
Skip the Waiting Room allows patients to register online for an appointment at the clinic, quickly and securely.

Several time slots at the end of each clinic are allocated for the patients who sign up online. When the appointment time nears, the patient receives a call or text message telling them to depart for their appointment. Online patients are seen only after all patients who have signed up in person are seen.
With assistance from the Innovation PEI Ignition Fund, which helps Islanders grow an idea or business, Richardson and his partners were able to do a soft launch. In two weeks, 30 Islanders have accessed the new service some booking online at 7 am for 11 am appointments.

“Now you don’t have to get up, get in line and spend your whole morning in a clinic,” he said.
This project is one example of how technology is improving access to health services, and the Department of Health and Wellness is pleased to support the implementation of the pilot with funding of $40,000 over the next 12 months.

The project is being piloted at the Boardwalk Professional Center - Downtown Walk in Clinic for one year.
Mark and his team have generously been given office space on the third floor of the Atlantic Technology Centre, which is the main office for his partner's company, Thinking Big. A large thought cloud is hung on the wall above their computers which is Thinking Big's logo.
For more information or to book an appointment at one of the walk-in clinics, visit https://skipthewaitingroom.com
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