No-shows, or missed appointments, are a costly and unfortunate reality for many healthcare providers in Canada. In 2014, 90% of surveyed Canadians expressed a desire for online appointment booking, yet only 7% of Canadian family physicians offered it. This falls far below the 66% of Swedish physicians and 30% of American physicians who offer online appointment requests (2012).
The Canada Health Infoway 2012-2013 study investigated the impact of e-booking at six private medical practices in Canada over a two-year period. The objectives of the study were to:
- Measure adoption
- Evaluate patient perceptions
- Assess the effect on number of no-shows
- The number of online bookings increased by 32%. The number of users/registrants also increased.
- Patients perceived three major benefits: scheduling flexibility, time savings, and automated reminders.
- The e-booking system’s automated appointment reminders (via telephone, e-mail or text message) proved to reduce the number of no-shows experienced by each clinic.
The study found that an overwhelming majority used the online appointment booking system to book appointments for themselves rather than for a relative.
“Our results show that e-booking systems seem to represent a win-win solution for patients and physicians.”
e-Booking in 2015
In 2015, still fewer than 10% of Canadians can book family physician appointments online. This number can be improved.
Canada Health Infoway ran an e-Booking Initiative in 2014 to encourage broader use of this digital health solution. e-Booking offers many potential benefits, including:
- time savings
- cost savings
- improved productivity
- reduced no-shows
- improved healthcare access
- improved patient satisfaction
- improved staff satisfaction
For more information on the benefits of e-booking and Infoway’s work in promoting the tool across Canada, take a look at our previous blog post.
iamsick.ca’s e-Booking Platform
Canadians are ready for a change, and we’re here to help. iamsick.ca‘s e-booking platform was designed to integrate with clinic workflows and software. With complete EMR-integration, appointments booked online can effortlessly appear in your scheduler. Reduce no-shows, time spent managing phone-calls and improve clinic efficiency with valuable analytics.
If you’re interested in offering e-booking in your clinic or pharmacy, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Original Paper: Adoption, Use, and Impact of E-Booking in Private Medical Practices: Mixed-Methods Evaluation of Two-Year Showcase Project in Canada
Authors: Guy Paré, PhD; Marie-Claude Trudel, PhD; Pascal Forget, PhD
Additional Sources: Patient e-booking: Practice perspectives on the benefits, challenges and lessons learned by Canada Health Infoway 2015