Category: 2.2. Internet appointment booking
Before an online system was introduced, patients at this surgery on the outskirts of Stockport, near Manchester, would have to try their luck with the busy telephone lines or visit the practice in person in order to make an appointment.
This was highly inconvenient for some, and often resulted in patients booking appointments ‘just in case’, to ensure a slot. So in 2001 the surgery introduced an online appointments booking service through its own in-house system. Then a few years later the EMIS system was introduced. Now, 15% of the practice’s 6,000 patients are choosing to book online.
Patients who want to use the online system are issued with log-on details. They can then book, view and cancel appointments through the practice’s website 24/7. Patients see the same bookings screen as the reception staff. The service is free of charge.
‘People who know when they want to have an appointment, and which doctor they want to have it with, can make an appointment online without tying up the phone lines,’ explains Practice Manager Johan Taylor. ‘Patients have a choice about when they want to book and the early morning rush of calls is reduced.’