DocAppointments launches repeat script request function

Online appointment booking service DocAppointments will demonstrate its new prescription request function at the General Practice Conference and Exhibition (GPCE) in Melbourne later this week.

While other appointment booking services also offer script requests, DocAppointments is offering it for free to patients and as part of the monthly subscription for practices. Founder Calin Pava said other systems required credit card registration, which can act as a deterrent.

“On our system people just log on with their usual registration details and request the script,” Dr Pava said. “Instead of clicking on 'make an appointment', they can request a script for themselves or for a family member.”

Patients are able to select the family member and their doctor and simply type in their medication and dosage. They then click the 'request prescription' and the request is sent to the surgery. The patient receives a confirmation by email that the request has been sent.

Dr Pava said practices can choose for themselves what happens at their end. Doctors and receptionists can open the admin screen and check for script requests, or the receptionist can print a list off for each doctor.

Dr Pava said the system replicated what normally happened with repeat requests, but in this case the script request comes in electronically.

“The receptionist or the doctor, depending on the workflow in the surgery, can either log on in the admin screen and look at the requests and do them, and then click completed and the patient gets a notification to come,” he said.

“In other surgeries the receptionist can bring the list to the doctor as they usually do, get the script back and then the receptionist is the one who clicks the button and says come and get it.”

Practices can tick a box in their DocAppointments admin screen that shows which doctors accept script requests and those who don't. “The admin decides which doctor wants to offer this service or not and those doctors are featured in the drop-down menu,” Dr Pava said.

“Because sometimes it is not appropriate to do a repeat script, there is also a button that says make an appointment. The patient is already registered so they can make an appointment there and then.”

The emails sent to the patient for confirmation and to advise them of the status of the request can also be customised by the practice to include fees for the scripts.

Dr Pava said the script request function was now available on all of the platforms that have integrated with DocAppointments, including Best Practice, PracSoft, Zedmed, Practice 2000 and Stat.

DocAppointments also recently launched a tablet-mounted check-in app, which allows patients to by-pass reception when they arrive at the surgery and check themselves in for their appointment. Dr Pava said this service was going well, and the company was in discussions with different practices on how it could be used.

“It does help in the morning when you have patients ringing, but now patients see that reception is busy so they go to the wall. Some practices put it on the wall and some on a stand at the entrance.

“Now we are working with somebody who doesn't have a receptionist to have it mounted on the outside of the door,” he said. “The patient comes in and it will automatically open the door if the patient has an appointment. Then they can just go into the waiting room.”

Patients can make appointments either through DocAppointments.com.au or through the practice's own website, or they can use the company's apps for iOS and Android.

GPCE Melbourne is being held from November 15 to 17 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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