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      Lewis-Gale Ads ER Check in App for Smart Phones

      Salem, VA - Lewis-Gale Regional Health Systems has teamed up with iTriage in an effort to streamline ER waits for people using a smart phone.

      For emergency room nurse, Megan Smith, integrating technology into today's medical care is just the way it is; a trend that everyone can agree will only increase over time.

      "It's going to play a huge role in health care in general and I think, overall, it will be good," said Smith.

      One of the new changes in her emergency room is an app that can either be used via smart phone or through a computer.

      It alerts ER personnel to the imminent arrival of a patient who uses that app.

      "Knowing ahead of time what's going on with our volume, what we need. If it's a cardiac patient or a respiratory patient, we can have designated spaces available to care for those patients appropriately," said Stacey Mulky, assistant director for the Emergency Department.

      It's a simple system that asks for the basics. In particular -- identifying information and symptoms.

      When you engage the application it almost immediately notifies the ER by phone, as a hard copy of the initial information arrives via fax.

      "It allows us to organize our staff and gather any other resources we might need for that patient's arrival so when they get here we're better prepared to care for them," said Smith.

      The big question is: Will using the app save you time?

      "It doesn't guarantee you a spot in the back but we know you are coming and we know what to prepare for," said Mulky.

      The partnership also gives average ER wait times at Lewis Gale facilities as well as GPS directions to any medical facility.

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