You know how, when things get kind of busy at TGI Fridays or Cheesecake Factory, they give you those pagers and buzz you when your table is ready? Welcome to the future of hospital waiting rooms. It's arrived in Albany. And you know what? It's pretty cool.
So last week I took a friend to St. Peter's Hospital last week for surgery. As my friend headed into pre-op, I headed for the waiting room where a woman greeted me and asked if I had registered.
When I told her which patient I was waiting for, she handed me a beeper, and a piece of paper with a 6 digit code. She told me I would be paged once the doctor had some news and, if I liked, I could follow the procedure in real-time on monitors set up in the waiting room.
Monitored? In real time? Did she mean I could watch my friend's gall bladder get
removed? As it turns out, no. You don't get the gory details, just the stages of the procedure.
On the screens, the patient's number and doctor scrolled up, and I could see where she was in the course of the operation: Pre-Op, In OR, In Recovery, and Complete. Before I sat down, I saw my friend was already in the operating room. Hours later, her procedure was listed as "complete" and within a few minutes, my pager went off to meet the surgeon (Beep, Beep-- your friend is ready).
I was in the loop the whole time, I never had to go to a nurses station with questions and doctors didn't have to yell names across the waiting room. They're still working out the a few kinks. It was kind of busy that morning and they ran out of pagers. Instead they gave out the codes and called the numbers if there was news. But all in all, it worked pretty well.
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