How Omnicare Medical Center used BlinkID to reduce waiting time by 83%February 15, 2023
The Turks and Caicos health clinic sought a fast and easy ID scanning solution during peak COVID testing
By automating ID data extraction, we were able to reduce total wait time — from registration to test results — by over an hour, while also increasing the number of patients we could test per day exponentially.Xavier Ewing, IT and Operations Manager, Omnicare Medical Center
Obstacle: Medical center becomes inundated with COVID testing during peak pandemic
Omnicare Medical Center is a healthcare provider with multiple locations throughout the islands of Turks and Caicos. The company’s services also include field medical professionals that travel to villas and hotels across the islands.
During the height of the pandemic, Turks and Caicos was one of the few destinations that continued to allow tourism, and thus found itself inundated with both international travelers and local residents looking to receive verified COVID-19 tests.
“Previously, each and every person had to fill out handwritten forms on arrival to prepare for their test,” said Xavier Ewing, Omnicare’s IT and Operations Manager. “It took tremendous amounts of time and limited the volume of tests we could provide. There were stacks of paper everywhere.”
With a staff of around 30 professionals spread across its main office and out in the field, Omnicare was experiencing a severe bottleneck in onboarding patients before testing them. Meanwhile, patients were looking to complete testing as quickly as possible to safely start their vacations, get cleared to return home, or in the case of locals, get back to their everyday lives.
When moving Omnicare’s paper-based form to a digital version still didn’t ease the backlog, Ewing looked into ID scanning software.
“I knew there were tools that could scan identity documents, but after starting to compare what was available, it became clear that Microblink was the best option.”
Solution: Using BlinkID for faster, easier onboarding
Patients utilizing Omnicare for COVID-19 testing come from a wide range of countries — with a wider range of ID types. These documents are also inherently sensitive, as people tend to worry about sharing their PII (personally identifiable information) with third parties.
As a result, the implementation of ID scanning software had to be flexible in its ability to read and extract information from diverse IDs, while also being secure and compliant with regard to how patient data is handled. Additionally, the solution had to work properly for Omnicare’s field professionals performing tests outside of the office, where internet connection may be unreliable.
With that in mind, Omnicare began utilizing BlinkID on their employees’ mobile devices to take a photo of the patient’s ID and automatically extract all relevant information. After doing so, the photo was instantly deleted to preserve patient confidentiality.
“Setting it up was simple,” said Ewing, noting the ease of implementation. “We were able to connect it to our existing system, select which fields of our form we needed to fill, and BlinkID automatically extracted that information from our patients’ IDs.”
By utilizing a flexible AI-based solution like BlinkID, Omnicare could ensure that no matter where a patient was arriving from, locally or abroad, scanning would remain accurate and seamless. The ability to scan IDs with mobile devices made it easy for field testers to complete onboarding regardless of where they were or internet quality.
Impact: Omnicare reduced the time to deliver test results by 83%
“It used to take us an hour and a half to onboard and test each patient,” Ewing recalled. “When large families would arrive, having each and every member fill out an individual form was time intensive. With BlinkID, we were able to just scan their IDs and the whole process [testing included] took 15 to 20 minutes.”
An easier onboarding process meant Omnicare professionals could also perform more tests in less time, better addressing the influx in demand and rapidly increasing the volume of tests they could complete in one day.
With this boost in efficiency, Omnicare was able to increase the number of patients it could test in a day by a staggering 2,810%.
“With limited resources and staff, on our busiest days, we were only able to complete about 20 tests per day,” noted Ewing. “After implementing BlinkID, we hit a high mark of 582 tests in one day.”
Beyond the logistical improvements, Ewing discussed how patients appreciated the ease and speed in which they received their verified test results. In addition, by removing manual data entry, Omnicare was able to more easily report statistics to its government health agency.
This level of efficiency totally changed the sentiment of patients, as Covid testing went from being a barrier for visitors starting their vacation to a simple step in their travel experience. With this vital improvement, Omnicare ensured that its user experience never frustrated tourists during what was supposed to serve as a relaxing escape, while also providing a safe, fast, and easy testing option for locals.
One online review for Omnicare stated: “COVID testing for all 6 members of our family could not have been easier, more efficient, or more professionally conducted…”