The COVID-19 pandemic is decimating an already under-resourced and overburdened rural healthcare system. Because rural emergency rooms serve as safety net hospitals for patients with nonemergent conditions, rural emergency rooms are plagued by longer wait times and wasted resources. As a result, patients with both emergent and nonemergent conditions receive inconsistent, lower-quality care, potentially resulting in worse outcomes.
What it does
EasiER is an app that enables patients with nonemergent conditions to save a place in line at rural emergency rooms. The app improves the patient experience, streamlines workflow, and provides resources that facilitate less expensive, acuity appropriate care.
How I built it
We used the React Native framework as well as the libraries mentioned above to build the front-end app prototype. The back-end developments including data encryption, transfer, storage, and processing are currently in the process of being developed.
Challenges I ran into
We considered multiple legal and ethical implications while designing the app, including patient data security and the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act. Evolving policies and procedures, especially at the systems level, will continue to affect further app developments. We will consult rural emergency medical directors and healthcare administrators for guidance, as well as adopt multiple encryption and research secure data transfers to REDCap.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
The collaboration between our diverse team members that resulted in an app with immense potential to tangibly improve rural emergency care is a tremendous accomplishment.
What I learned
Rural healthcare is under-resourced and overburdened, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Innovative solutions are urgently needed to address the problems affecting rural emergency care.
What's next for EasiER
Our next steps include continuing to make our app's data encryption as robust as possible and contacting rural healthcare systems via healthcare practice management services. With the help of VC funding, we hope to partner with emergency departments in rural areas and begin testing the product at the local level. After implementing the application locally, we would then implement the product at the systems level and engage in continuous quality improvement.