VIVA Patients Report Computer Tablet Check-In Fast, Reduces Errors

In 2012, Newsletter, Volume 4 Issue 2 by Addison Clark

The new computer tablet check-in system at Virginia Interventional & Vascular Associates (VIVA), believed to be the first of its kind in the area, has received an overwhelmingly positive patient response since its introduction in late May, said Jennifer Dawson, NP-C, VIVA director.

In August, the Phreesia™ check- in system was also rolled out at four imaging facilities that are part of Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg, a partnership between Mary Washington Healthcare and VIVA’s parent practice, Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg.

Instead of clipboards with pages of questions, patients are provided computer tablets that they can take back to their seats to answer questions electronically. Dawson estimated, based on customer surveys and anecdotal feedback, that 70–80% of VIVA patients now prefer computer tablet check-in over paper forms.

“It was so fast and efficient. I have eight children, and filling out documents all the time over and over is time consuming. It’s nice to be able to just click, click, click, and it’s done,” said Rhonda Smetek of Fredericksburg.

VIVA patients say computer tablet check-in is simplified and self-explanatory.

Kit Lowes of Spotsylvania noted that the computer tablet system makes it easier to correct and avoid mistakes.

“It took the pressure off filling out forms. When I start typing in the medications I take, the right spelling comes up on the side [menu] and I just click it,” Lowes explained. “It’s so easy and simplified. It’s self- explanatory.” She also appreciated the ability to pay by swiping her credit card through a  port  in  the  computer tablet.

Debra Wilkey of Stafford said the system is more relaxing to use than paper forms, with a bonus. “I thought the display was easy to read, understand, and follow. I also like that you can click on interesting educational information about medical conditions after you are finished,” Wilkey added.

All three patients say they have not seen computer tablet check-in systems at other doctors’ offices.

Dawson said VIVA’s electronic medical records vendor, which serves many medical practices locally, believes VIVA is the first in the area to offer computer tablet patient check-in. She introduced the idea of the computer tablet check-in system to VIVA after seeing it demonstrated at a medical conference.

VIVA’s System:

  • Interfaces with electronic medical records for more complete patient charts
  • Stores information in a secure, confidential manner
  • Is designed to make check-in easy and intuitive for most users, with prompts to lead patients through the process
  • Provides automatic insurance eligibility checks
  • Accepts patient credit card/debit card payments
  • Eliminates misunderstandings caused by illegible handwriting
  • Offers educational content that patients can view after check-in to better understand their medical conditions

Patients who are uncomfortable with computers, usually elderly patients, are assisted by staff or given a paper option, Dawson added.

VIVA  is the interventional radiology and vascular surgery practice of Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg. For more information, contact Jennifer Dawson at, phone (540) 654- 9118, or visit


Pictured above: Joan D. Jackson uses the new computer tablet check-in system at VIVA.