FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- The new Beneficiary Instant Provider Appointment Scheduling System (BIPASS) makes booking an appointment faster, easier and more convenient at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital.

Real-time primary care appointment availability can now be viewed on a large-screen display located outside the Emergency Room, on another display for those waiting to be seen inside the ER waiting room, and it's even available online.

For some incoming ER patients, this means waiting to see a physician in the ER can be a thing of the past.

"Patients with non-life-threatening injuries may book an appointment faster with BIPASS--before they even enter the Emergency Room to sit down and wait to see an ER physician," said Capt. Matthew P. Doellman, GLWACH Emergency Department head nurse.

BIPASS is available online using a link on the hospital website at http://glwach.amedd.army.mil.

Instructions for adding the BIPASS icon to both Apple and Android smart phones are displayed at the bottom of the BIPASS interface screen--with Blackberry coming soon.

A smart phone user can also simply touch the appointment line phone number on the screen to book an appointment.

BIPASS displays appointments available at both the Ozark Family-Centered Medical Home as well as within the hospital.

"Pick your Appointment -- Pick up the Phone," scrolls the colorful marquee banner mounted above a flat screen monitor next to the ER's main hallway entrance.

"Patients can look for an appointment on the screen and pick up the black phone hanging there on the wall," said Randall W. Moore II, GLWACH's ER assistant chief, "and it is already ringing the TRICARE representative by the time the phone gets to their ear."

Even when patients check into the ER, the ER desk clerk checks BIPASS again to ensure patients receive the fastest possible healthcare here.

"Appointments may even become available with a patient's own primary care manager or another physician they'd like to see as they're sitting in the ER waiting room," Doellman said, "so we have an appointment screen hanging inside on the waiting room as well."

Unfilled appointments are shown on the screen up to 24 hours in advance. When a patient cancels an appointment, BIPASS displays it within two minutes.

"The BIPASS webpage is the most visited page on our website," Moore said.

"There are no hidden TRICARE Prime appointments not shown on the screen," said Diane Hell, GLWACH hospital administrator. "When an appointment becomes available within the hospital, it appears on the screen."

BTW, the ER waiting room is a really nice waiting room--we just believe that getting quality care--at warp speed--from a Primary Care Manager if possible--is inherently more desirable than sitting in the ER waiting room wondering about your place in the queue.

(Editor's note: John Brooks is the marketing and public affairs officer at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital)