Category: 2.2. Internet appointment booking
This Bradford practice puts excellent patient access and choice first. Its online appointments booking system is a key part of this. Hundreds of Saltaire's 10,160 patients are happy to use this service, and numbers are growing.
Previously, patients could book appointments over the telephone, by post or in person. But this kept the surgery's phone lines busy and was often inconvenient for patients in full-time employment.The online system enables patients to book, view and cancel appointments 24/7. Patients see the same screen that receptionists see and can choose time slots that suit. They can also order repeat prescriptions through the same system.
New and existing patients can register for the service at the practice's reception. After showing identification, they are given unique log-on details that enable them to access the system, manage their appointments online and order repeat prescriptions. The facility is fully confidential and secure.
Saltaire had been offering online appointments via EMIS but the practice moved to the SystmOne clinical system in July 2008. The new system came with its own online appointment booking facility, called SystmOnline, which the practice began using as a pilot. As part of SystmOne, the booking facility is free of charge.
The system can't be used to book appointments at nurses' clinics, which require more specialised information on patients, but the practice hopes to include this feature in the future. 'We're always looking at new ways to improve patient access,' says Business Manager Catherine Darlington. 'We are a business in a competitive market and we want to offer a modern, responsive service.'