Brianne Casey ’16 didn’t realize just how much a simple class research question would motivate her to develop an entire mobile application suite, which changed the way she looked at patient satisfaction and the impact a waiting room environment could have on it.
Casey came to Shenandoah University because of the reputation of its health professions programs and the high percentage rate of graduates who accept jobs in their field. Casey also loved the small size of the institution.
The fact that Shenandoah is a small private university is its best asset. My first two degrees were from a very large, prestigious state university where I was just a number and I had no support. At Shenandoah, all of the faculty in the Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing knew me by name and worked really hard to help me meet my career goals. That personalization is what got me to where I am, and it made the transition from academic to professional life seamless." Brianne Casey '16
While taking a class with Professor of Nursing Pamela Webber ’75, Ph.D., Casey was given the research question, “How does publishing patient wait times affect patient satisfaction scores?” As Casey began her project, she found that there was very little research available on the subject. This inspired her to dig deeper into the topic, which helped her recognize that overcrowding was a problem for both the patient population and for health care providers. Access to health care is more than just having insurance, she said, noting that the bigger problem lies with the patient finding a provider who can see them in a timely manner. So she created the mobile application suite, Checked In. With the support of the nursing faculty, Casey was able to turn her dream app into a reality, all while completing her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.
As soon as I knew that I had to develop a patient wait time app, I wanted to focus all of my energy into this. Instead of shutting me down, the faculty allowed me to integrate this idea into projects for other classes so that they could help me continue to explore and develop the possibilities, and also move forward with learning the other lessons and developing the other skills that I needed to be a registered nurse. They really individualized my experience to 'be my best me' and catered to my personal interests and career goals while also helping me to become an ER nurse." Brianne Casey '16
Once she graduated from the School of Nursing in December of 2016, Casey applied for a booth at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to pitch her idea. Casey’s product attracted a lot of attention, and it was soon featured in Computer World Magazine as one of the top six startups to watch in 2017.
Checked In is a two-part mobile application suite that measures and publishes patient wait times for emergency rooms (ER), urgent care facilities, and primary and specialty providers, as well as dentists’ offices. The app uses geolocation to pull up all nearby medical facilities in a chosen category and the patient can see what the wait times are to get a better idea of where they should go for health care.
The second element of the mobile application suite is Check Box, which is for health care providers. Check Box helps health care providers track how long their wait times are, then publishes them to the Checked In app so patients can view them in real time. As of now, the wait times published on the Checked In app are based on averages from Medicare and Medicaid.
Providers often struggle to find a balance between focusing on patient care and quality of care with patient satisfaction, which hinges on wait times. I found in my research that publishing wait times evenly distributes patients across a health care system as well as establishes an expected wait. As long as patients have a general idea of wait times, then the patient satisfaction scores improve because even if the wait time is three hours, the patient expects it. Meanwhile, the providers do not have to rush because everyone is on the same page as to how long patients can expect to wait." Brianne Casey '16
Casey previously worked as an ER registered nurse (RN) for Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, Virginia, where she constantly applied her knowledge and experience from the ER, as well as a lot of research from the nursing field, to further develop her products to fit the needs of both patients and healthcare providers. Her first career was in television and advertising, so she combined her understanding of what consumers want and how to develop media that fulfills those needs, with her passion for the ER, where patients will wait hours to see doctors when their primary physicians are unavailable.
Checked In launched in May 2018 and can be found on the iTunes App Store and Google Play. Now that product development is over, Casey has started the real work, which is beta testing Check Box at ERs, urgent care facilities, and primary and specialty providers. Once the beta testing is over, Casey will focus on marketing the app and gaining support from investors.
Casey hopes to eventually work with Medicare, so that Checked In can become the measurement standard for wait times. She also recently accepted a new position at StoneSprings Hospital Center in Sterling, Virginia, as an emergency room RN with a focus on pediatric patients.