Crowded waiting rooms due to the Coronavirus crisis posed a very real danger at Reinier Haga Medisch Diagnostisch Centrum. The organisation recently started to operate exclusively by appointment in dealing with blood sampling and the submission of body materials, such as urine. Logis.P supplied the software needed to optimally coordinate patient logistics.
RHMDC provides laboratory diagnostics for almost the entire spectrum of medical care providers in the Netherlands. At national level, the organisation is a provider for, among others, general practitioners, obstetricians, Occupational Health and Safety Services, (nursing) clinics and independent treatment centres. The organisation also supplies laboratory diagnostics for the Reinier de Graaf Ziekenhuis in Delft and the LangeLand Ziekenhuis in Zoetermeer.
The Corona rules have made it impossible to conduct procedures, such as blood sampling, on an open consultation basis. RHDMC has more than 100 locations where blood and other tests are conducted.
They asked Logis.P to provide support in overcoming this challenge with the Smart Appointment application. The platform is used for blood tests and handing in material, and enables the patient to simply select an available time slot at locations in their neighbourhood. Patients can access the platform, which is easy to manage centrally, via the RHMDC website.
"Working with time slots makes it possible to reduce the workload pressure on personnel. It is also possible to adjust personnel capacity based on the number of existing appointments, which makes it easier to reschedule in case of illness."
Dynamic Capacity Planning
Een belangrijk voordeel dat SmartAppointment heeft is de dynamische capaciteitsplanning. Dat betekent dat de planning aangepast kan worden op basis van het aantal prikmedewerkers dat per dag en tijdstip beschikbaar is op de bewuste locaties. De planning wordt hiermee automatisch aangepast. Door met tijdsloten te werken wordt de druk op het personeel verminderd. Daarnaast kan de bezetting aangepast worden aan het aantal gemaakte afspraken, waardoor in geval van ziekte makkelijker geschoven kan worden.
One of the locations is based at the Reinier de Graaf Ziekenhuis in Delft. The blood-sampling unit is located at the entrance to the hospital. The 1.5-metre rule and patient overload related to the open consultation system caused crowding in the hospital entrance.
Getting used to it
This undesirable situation is finally under control thanks to the new appointment planning system. It took a while for the patients to get used to the new system. The transition to the new work method was facilitated by informing doctors and specialists about the change from the open consultation system to an appointment system, and by issuing them with the patient folders in good time.
Patients that are referred to the clinic by a specialist at the Graaf or Langeland hospitals can simply walk through to the clinic or make an appointment by smart phone at the location in the applicable hospital.
This has also made it possible to effectively handle emergency cases. Patients with emergency conditions referred by their general practitioner can make an appointment at the central location on the same day.
Some 100,000 appointments have already been made via the new system since its implementation only six months ago. RHMDC is so satisfied with the new scheduling system that they are considering the option of extending its use beyond the Coronavirus measures. The system reduces the workload and also offers a broader range of services to the patient. It also means that the patient no longer needs to wait in long queues.
The next step is to install digital check-in points at the major locations to further streamline the check-in and waiting procedures.