Of course, some patients will still book appointments over the phone. Examples include elderly patients, or new patients who are not yet Portal members. Here is how ConsultSTAT-Triage handles offline patient booking requests.
If the patient phoning is already a Portal member, the secretary can locate the patient on her Manage Requests page within her Select Member Dropdown. If the patient is not registered with the HCP's Portal, the secretary will select Offline Patient. She will enter the patient's information into the required information fields. Once she clicks “Send Request”, the status changes to “Booking Request. The secretary can then book the appointment on the screen in the usual manner and relay the information to the patient verbally if the patient is still on the phone. If the patient is a Portal member, an email notification of the appointment will be automatically generated. Obviously, a patient who has not yet registered on the Portal will not receive any email notifications.
Indicators that this is an offline booking are clearly marked on both the patient’s and secretary's Manage Request screen as well as on the Calendar.
(i) The patient is not yet a practice member or is a practice member but is not yet a Portal member.
(ii) The patient is a Portal member but has lost internet connectivity.
(iii) The patient is a Portal member but temporarily has access to neither computer or smartphone.
(i) Speed and efficiency of appointment fulfillment.
(ii) The ability to request and participate in eConsults. Whereas an office appointment can take up to a week to occur, an eConsult can take place much sooner. It can assist the HCP with diagnosis and/or management prior to the office visit, or in many cases can avoid the necessity of an office visit altogether, allowing the HCP to manage the patient's minor problems remotely.
The eConsult saves the patient time and travel expense (including the expense of parking). It represents a valuable new revenue stream for health care professionals. The HCP is prepaid online by the patient for the eConsult.
Additionally, the patient can request and receive doctor's notes to third parties, eg. back to school or back to work notes, without having to visit the office.