I have been taking the COVID-19 PCR test in Abu Dhabi and Dubai almost weekly since the pandemic began. Always at the same place.
Every time I visit this private hospital, I have to wait to register for the test, present my Emirates ID, shout out my mobile phone number at least thrice through the acrylic wall for the staff to get it right, then take the stickers for the sample tube, and the registration slip to another desk, where the person’s only job seems to be to ask me where I am ‘staying’. After this entire process, and I’ve done it at least 60 times, comes the 5-second swab, and I’m done.
Why is faster turnaround not a priority?
What if I could walk up to a barcode scanner, scan a QR code generated on the hospital’s app, pay through the phone, and get the stickers that go on the test tube from a printer right next to it? At this stage, the app already knows where I’m ‘staying’ so the guy assigned this job could do something more useful.
The security guard, currently in charge of asking people to take a seat and pointing to them when it’s their time to hit the registration desk, can oversee the process.
If the hospital wants to keep the line slow, giving time to the nurses between swabs, it can simply install a single scanner, or two, to replace each of the ‘Step 1’ staff. If I don’t have mobile payment as an option, there could be a single cashier between the scanner and the sticker printer on a separate line to facilitate the card tap or take the cash.
Me being out of there in under 5 minutes, rather than 20 on a slow day means less staff needed for the job, faster turnaround, zero human error, and of course more revenue.
If you can implement it, please steal this idea. A shoutout would be nice 🙂