Another tool for finding the most appropriate health care with the shortest wait time.
A dearth of high-tech experience didn’t prevent Lisa Jacobs from developing an app that links patients to the closest health-care facilities with the shortest wait times.
“This whole entrepreneurial journey has been the best experience of my life,” said Jacobs, a Windsor native with a 17-year career in health care. “There was always someone to talk to for answers, and if they didn’t have it, they’d find someone who did.”
Launched last year, Clinic Seeker, which can be downloaded for free on Android and iOS devices, helps non-critical care patients in Ontario find a clinic with the appropriate services and shortest wait times using crowd-sourced data.
“Statistics show 20 per cent of patients who go to an ER don’t need to be there,” said Jacobs. “Windsor, alone, saw 140,000 patients in 2014. That translates into 77 patients a day or 28,000 patients a year, so why not help people get to the right place at the right time.”
The idea for Clinic Seeker struck Jacobs three years ago after fracturing her thumb during a visit to Toronto.“I didn’t know where to find a clinic with an X-Ray department, so I ended up in a hospital emergency room and waiting for hours.”
After searching the Internet, Jacobs discovered there was no online tool listing medical clinics and their wait times.
“I cannot say enough good things about this community,” she said. “They make their resources available to you.”
Since its launch in January, 2017, Clinic Seeker has seen daily increases in traffic, primarily from women.
“Hockey moms use it to find clinics when they travel to tournaments,” said Jacobs, adding women make 92 per cent of health-care decisions in a family.
User feedback has been positive. “We’ve had testimonials from people who went to one clinic and were told they’d be waiting at least an hour. Then they went on the app and found another clinic down the street with a much shorter wait time.”
Clinic Seeker has garnered accolades, including top prize at last year’s Tech Week YQG Digital Challenge, a local competition for innovative digital products. It also has attracted interest from health care organizations in the U.S.
Jacobs stressed she is not discouraging the use of emergency rooms; she wants to offer another tool for finding the most appropriate health care.
Plans are underway to expand Clinic Seeker throughout Canada as well as include information on mental health facilities and make the app available in different languages.
“My objective is to help people.”
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