They polyclinic e-appointment system is to emulate that used by banks, explains Lyudmila Zhilevich, Deputy Head of the Main Department of the Organisation of Medical Care, at the Ministry of Health. She notes that, although it cannot be used in its ‘pure form’ because patient time with a doctor cannot always be foreseen, it should improve the flow of patients and relieve the anxiety of waiting. Moreover, patients won’t distract the doctor by trying to enter an office early and a doctor won’t be distracted by questions outside his or her competence.
Electronic queuing system already operating at new polyclinic #39 in Minsk. Photo: VITALY PIVOVARCHIK
The electronic queuing system has been trialled at polyclinic #39, in Minsk, where patients ‘check in’ at a terminal on arrival, selecting the nature of their appointment, before waiting their turn. Another three of the capital’s polyclinics are soon to follow suit, with all Minsk polyclinics to join the system by the end of 2015, if finances are permitting.
Online services were introduced some time ago to make the health system more convenient to use, allowing appointments online, as well as phone/online consultations. Doctors can also be booked for house calls via the current system. “Most polyclinics in Minsk and across the regional centres have websites. About ten of the capital’s polyclinics are working online, allowing patients to obtain answers to specific questions, without coming in to see a doctor,” comments Ms. Zhilevich.
Some of the capital’s polyclinics invite patients to take part in medical surveys, to help with examinations, and 15 Minsk polyclinics are able to issue electronic prescriptions. Meanwhile, at the 19th and 34th central district and at the 29th city polyclinic, every patient has an electronic card, allowing them to receive laboratory tests and order extracts from medical records, to be received by email.
By Svetlana Mokhoreva