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    AirWAIT, a Reception Management Application that Solves the Frustration of Waiting in Line, Begins Functional Linkage with PHC's Medicom-HRf, an Integrated Electronic Medical Record System for Clinics

    Jul 15, 2022 | Recruit

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    Recruit today announced the launch of functional linkage between AirWAIT, a reception management application that solves the frustration of waiting in line, and Medicom-HRf, an integrated electronic medical record (EMR) system for clinics offered by PHC Corporation (PHC).

    Through this linkage, patients’ reception information registered in AirWAIT can be automatically shared with the EMR. Normally, the reception staff needs to operate AirWAIT and the EMR separately when patients come to the clinic and when they pay for their bill. However, with the new linkage, the transcription and deleting of patient information can be carried out with either one, helping the improvement of operational efficiency and prevent errors in the reception process.

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    (Screen image of AirWAIT at the clinic reception)

    1. Overview of Linkage

    PHC's first API linkage, eliminating the need to transfer reception information to the EMR

    When a patient arrives to the clinic, the common reception process is to write down the patient's name on the paper ledger, hand the number ticket, and call out the numbers in turn. With AirWAIT, the patient’s information will be automatically registered in the EMR after reception, and a notification will be sent to the patient's smartphone to inform when they will be called.
    Patients no longer have to wait in the waiting room, not knowing when they will be called, and can use their time efficiently by knowing the approximate time they will be called.
    Patient information is automatically sent to the EMR, reducing the need for receptionists to transfer information to such records. Patients will receive notifications on their smartphones reminding them of their turn, which reduces the workload for the receptionist to call out the patients and caring for them while they wait.
    Linking an on-premise EMR system owned by clinics with a cloud-based service such as AirWAIT used to require a large-scale development separately. However, the new API platform created by PHC will now be able to exchange APIs provided by AirWAIT. AirWAIT will be the first to connect with PHC's new API platform. In cooperation with PHC, which has the largest share of the domestic market for EMR systems for clinics (Source: FUJI KEIZAI CO., LTD. "Current Status and Future Outlook of the Healthcare Collaboration and Medical Platform Related Market in 2022" *1 ), we aim to further increase the recognition of our reception management services at medical institutions.

    *1 Japanese version only. Japanese title:「2022 年 医療連携・医療プラットフォーム関連市場の現状と将来展望」

    ▪ Launch date: July 15, 2022
    ▪ Distributed by: Medicom distributors nationwide, including PHC Medicom Corporation

    2. Background of the System Linkage

    Medical institutions lagging behind in digitization; Demand for tools to eliminate waiting time

    According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications' "2021 White Paper on Information and Communications in Japan," only 9.3% of the medical and welfare industry is engaged in digital transformation (DX), and the industry tends to lag behind other industries in this area.
    The trend seems to be the same even when it comes to the implementation of reservation systems: according to a survey conducted by PHC in February 2022, among 210 doctors and staff at hospitals and clinics, 53.3% of the total respondents, more than half answered that they take patient appointments in some way, and 12.4% of the respondents answered that they use web-based reservation systems for managing appointments reserved by time and 8.6% use web-based reservation systems for managing appointments reserved by order.
    On the other hand, patients seem to be frustrated to have to wait. In a survey conducted by PHC on 5,669 patients in March 2022, when asked about past problems in finding a hospital or clinic, approximately 40% of all respondents answered "not knowing if the hospital is currently crowded," surpassing the responses of "not knowing the reputation of the hospital" and "not knowing the doctor's specialty".
    As these surveys show, patients want to eliminate waiting time, and as one of the measures to deal with this problem, medical institutions are expected to become more aware of the need to introduce reservation systems.

    Reduction of stress on waiting time and avoidance of the "three Cs"

    AirWAIT has been used in the medical field to reduce waiting times. In particular, it has contributed to the prevention of the spread of infection by avoiding the "three Cs" (crowded places, close-contact settings, confined and enclosed spaces) situation between patients and staff in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The new linkage with PHC’s EMR system will allow receptionists to simultaneously streamline their work and patient information management, enabling them to spend more time and effort on tasks, such as assisting doctors, handling seriously ill patients, and accounting. For the patient side, the ability to track the waiting time will alleviate their stress of not knowing how long it will take to receive treatment, and is expected to lead to more effective use of time, such as waiting outside of the hospital.

    3. Message from Wataru Uehara, Product Manager of AirWAIT

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    Wataru Uehara *Available for interviews Product Management Division, Recruit Co., Ltd. Product Manager, AirWAIT

    Wataru Uehara joined Recruit in 2016 after working as a system integrator in contracted development of business systems and apps for many companies. As a sales engineer for Recruit's entire Air BusinessTools business and management support service, including AirREGI, AirPAY, and AirSHIFT, he served as a bridge between the business client and the development team. In 2018, he took charge of business planning as a product manager exclusively for AirWAIT and assumed his current position in 2021.
    In the course of developing various business systems for restaurants and commercial facilities, he has seen many issues faced by businesses. By joining Recruit's Air BusinessTools, which can solve a wide range of issues, and through AirWAIT, he is working to solve problems related to wasted waiting time and reception visits for both individual users and business clients, regardless of industry or size.

    Reception efficiency makes patient peace of mind and staff work comfort the norm

    AirWAIT, a reception management application that solves the frustration of waiting in line, has been introduced in various industries. The medical industry is one of those industries that is highly aware of the challenges of the waiting time, as most facilities have receptionist operations. Patients often feel frustrated on the "waiting time" at medical institutions, such as "I feel stressed because the waiting time is long and I don't know when I will be called," or "I am worried about secondary infection if I wait too long time in a crowded waiting room." On the other hand, medical institutions also face major operational issues such as "receiving complaints about long waiting time" and "not being able to provide patients with specific information about the waiting time."
    We have made a special effort to introduce AirWAIT to the medical industry because we want to somehow change the situation where many medical institutions spend so much time dealing with waiting patients that they are unable to focus on medical services they should be providing.
    Under such circumstances, we think it is very meaningful that AirWAIT, which is mainly installed in clinics among medical institutions, and PHC's EMR systems with top market share in clinics, will work together.
    The reception desk is the first important opportunity for patients and clinics to communicate. We believe that this functional linkage will further contribute to improving operational efficiency, as complicated receptionist work and waiting times can lead to significant opportunity loss for both parties. Inconvenience and frustration in reception operations, which have been natural in medical institutions until now, will be eliminated, and will be changed so that it will be natural for patients to feel at ease and for staffs in clinics staff to be able to deliver efficient operations.
    We also believe that in the future, not only reception desks but also various other business systems will continue to interoperate with each other, creating a trend toward solving operational issues at medical institutions.

    4. What is AirWAIT?

    AirWAIT is a reception management application that solves the frustration of waiting in line, allowing smart reception management without paper ledgers or expensive dedicated terminals, as long as you have an iPad and a printer. The service was launched in November 2014 and is being introduced in a wide range of industries, from restaurants, retail, and services to clinics and dispensing pharmacies.
    With AirWAIT, reception operations can be streamlined with simple operations from receiving to calling, and reception data can be analyzed to improve operations and contribute to increased customer satisfaction. External monitor output and multilingual support are also available. By using the online order reception system, customers can check the congestion status on the website without visiting a store, and can easily take their turn. By eliminating congestion and systematizing the guidance system, customers are no longer kept waiting in the store or waiting room, which also helps to prevent infection.
    Stores that have introduced the system have commented that they have "been able to reduce labor costs equivalent to one receptionist," that "sales have increased by 120% due to a significant increase in the number of customers over the previous year," and that "customer satisfaction has improved due to reduced complaints and anxiety about congestion."
    Air BusinessTools, which also includes AirWAIT, reduces the time, labor, and costs associated with analog business operations, from reservation and reception management, accounting, and payment, to recruitment, shift management, financing, and billing.
    We will continue to support business owners in operating their businesses as they envision them and creating stores that are uniquely their own.

    5. About Medicom Division, PHC Corporation

    Established in 1969, PHC Corporation is a Japanese subsidiary of PHC Holdings Corporation (TSE 6523), a global healthcare company that develops, manufactures, sells, and services solutions across diabetes management, healthcare solutions, life sciences, and diagnostics. The Medicom Division active in the healthcare IT business of healthcare solutions launched the first medical-receipt computer in Japan in 1972. Since then, it has worked to improve medical services for patients and work efficiency for healthcare professionals by providing electronic medical record systems and other healthcare IT products and services under the Medicom brand.
    www.phchd.com/jp/medicom/aboutTo an external site

    Click hereTo an external site to read the original press release.