Before You Head To The Doctor, Ask Alexa

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The next time there’s a medical emergency, ask Northwell before heading out the door. With the Northwell Health skill for Amazon Alexa, users can find the shortest wait time and locations of Northwell’s hospital emergency departments and GoHealth Urgent Care centers.

The Northwell user interface, available for free in the Alexa skills store, allows anyone using an Alexa-enabled device to say, “Alexa, ask Northwell,” along with a corresponding question. For example, “Alexa, ask Northwell for the shortest emergency department wait time.”

To refine the search to a specific region, include the zip code. To find immediate emergency care, users would specify “emergency department” for a hospital or “urgent care” for a GoHealth clinic.

“We’re looking at new ways to solve old problems. Integrating emergency department wait times into a skill for Amazon Alexa is just one example of how Northwell wants to make the health care experience a seamless part of your everyday life,” said Ramon Soto, senior vice president and chief marketing and communications officer at Northwell. “Connecting with our patients—and the broader community—where they live and interact is a core value. While technology will continue to evolve, our commitment to the patient experience remains constant.”

Northwell web developers created the Alexa skill, in part, by integrating another popular Northwell innovation—its emergency and urgent care wait times portal, which analyzes check-ins at Northwell EDs and updates them every 15 minutes. Enabling the function with Alexa helps patients get care quickly and efficiently, pulling data from more than 50 urgent care centers and emergency rooms throughout the New York metropolitan area.

—Submitted by Northwell Health

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