The Value of e-Booking: Study

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).

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The Study

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:

  1. Measure adoption
  2. Evaluate patient perceptions
  3. Assess the effect on number of no-shows

The Results

  1. The number of online bookings increased by 32%.  The number of users/registrants also increased.
  2. Patients perceived three major benefits: scheduling flexibility, time savings, and automated reminders.
  3. 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.

Interesting Findings

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.

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If you’re interested in offering e-booking in your clinic or pharmacy, contact us at partners@iamsick.ca 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

What is the Posture Performance Shirt? – Q&A with the CEO of AdrenalEase

If you’ve been following us on social media, you may have seen that the iamsick.ca team has teamed up with AdrenalEase to give away a Posture Performance Shirt to one lucky winner in our summer giveaway.  Ahead of his appearance at the CanFitPro World Fitness Expo this weekend, we sat down with Nourredin Chahrour, founder and CEO of AdrenalEase Inc., to bring you some more details on their unique Posture Performance Shirt.

Q: What is the Posture Performance Shirt?

A: The Posture Performance Shirt is a global patent-pending garment that reduces stress off certain muscles like the neck and shoulder muscles that may be overly stressed due to prolonged static, undesired posture.

Q: What makes the Posture Performance Shirt different than other posture-correcting apparel on the market?

A: What differentiates the Posture Performance Shirt from other posture shirts or posture braces in the market is the adjustability of the elastic reflex bands on the shirt. You can set the tension of the bands per your comfort to provide a gentle stretch to your neck and shoulder muscles, therefore relieving pain and stress.

Q: How does it work?

A: The Posture Performance Shirt provides proprioceptive feedback to the user, which reminds them to retract their shoulders in the upright posture with the help of the elastic reflex bands that provide muscle memory for when the bands are not strapped on.women-black-back

Q: Your brand ambassadors are Team Canada Olympians.  How do they use the Posture Performance Shirt?

A: Paul Poirier and Piper Gilles represent Canada on world stage competitions including the Olympics and they use the Posture Performance Shirt when executing a lift or simply maintaining proper posture when skating.

Q: You have a new production line coming out in August.  What can we look forward to?

A:  The new production line is out and it includes a V-neck and we have released a new color which is white. We will also be expanding into new products which include Posture Sports Bras, tank tops, sleeveless and long sleeve shirts.Adrenalease Giveaway 1 (Twitter)

Could your posture use some improvement?  It’s not too late to enter to win your own Posture Performance Shirt. Click here to enter.

Hurry! The giveaway closes on August 17th at 11:59 PM (EDT).

Tell us what you do to maintain good posture on Twitter with the #iamfit and #BeTheGreatest hashtags.  We will retweet some of our favourites on our own account @iamsick_ca.

Accessibility Innovation Showcase 2015

iamsick.ca will be attending the Ontario Accessibility Innovation Showcase 2015 in MaRS this weekend, hosted by the Government of Ontario.  Held in time for the Para Pan Am Games, the event will showcase accessible technology and devices created by Ontario companies.

There are many activities planned for the weekend, including a hackathon and walking tours. iamsick.ca will be demoing our website & apps on the exhibition floor. Our co-founder and president, Ryan, will also be pitching at the Tech Pitch competition.

Accessibility & iamsick.ca

Our goal is to offer a healthcare wayfinding & e-booking platform that helps all Canadians access healthcare, tearing down the barriers that a Canadian patient or caregiver may face.

The iamsick.ca platform already addresses a number of barriers, and we have more solutions in the works.

So far, the iamsick.ca platform addresses:

  • Access to Knowledge & Information
  • Timely Access to Healthcare Services
  • Language Barriers
  • Mobility Barriers

Our platform was also designed with insights gained from user experience design & healthcare literacy experts.

Want to learn more?  Check out our entry video below:

 

The Showcase is free and open to the public.  Stop by our booth to check out our recent developments.  We look forward to seeing you there!

iamsick.ca & Adrenalease Posture Performance Shirt Giveaway

It’s the middle of summer. The sun is high in the sky, you are out and about… and iamsick.ca is spicing things up with a summer giveway!

Our friends at Adrenalease have teamed up with us for a Posture Performance Shirt giveaway.

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The Posture Performance Shirt was created to help wearers improve their posture and performance. It has been designed to relieve stress off certain muscles groups by keeping the wearer in an upright position. The adjustable elastic straps help wearers passively stretch without the risk of weakening their muscles.

If you have ever felt strain on your back while sitting, or just want to improve your posture, this shirt is for you. Don’t take our word for it – even Olympians are using the shirt to help them train!

What are you waiting for? Click here to enter: iamsick.ca & Adreanalease Posture Performance Shirt Giveaway.

We would love to hear about what you do to improve your posture. Share it on Twitter with the #BeTheGreatest hashtag, and we will retweet our favourites on @iamsick_ca.

Good luck!

Giveaway closes at 11:59 PM (EDT) on August 17, 2015.  Only open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec. Terms & Conditions can be found on the contest widget.

The need to e-Book

Digital health solutions provide us with numerous benefits.

Recently, Canada Health Infoway explored how digital health solutions can improve healthcare, including e-visits and the ability to view test results online. What’s most interesting to us is their take on e-booking, and the benefits that it offers to patients and healthcare providers.

According to their white paper published in 2014, Infoway found that e-booking was ranked as one of the top three most useful consumer health products.  Some of the potential benefits of e-booking include:

  1. Time and cost savings
  2. Reduced no shows
  3. Improved healthcare access
  4. Improved patient satisfaction
  5. Improved staff satisfaction.

Simply put, using e-booking can help clinicians run a more efficient practice. More importantly, e-booking allows patients to take control of their health by giving them tools to connect with healthcare providers, when and where they need it.

iamsick.ca’s e-Booking Platform

Most clinic software, referred to as electronic medical record (EMR) software, do not offer the ability for patients to book appointments online.  That’s why we designed and built an e-booking platform that can integrate with existing clinic software.  In the future, if EMR software companies offer their own e-boking service, our system can complement their service to offer patients choice and additional functionality; like our virtual waiting room, healthcare system wayfinding, and other services that we’re building.

iamsick.ca offers three different types of e-booking services:

The first is our integrated e-booking platform. This platform integrates with existing scheduling module of EMR software to create a seamless workflow. Appointments made on iamsick.ca will automatically sync with the clinic’s calendar.

The second service is a stand-alone e-booking service that lets patients book appointments online without EMR software integration.

The third service is an appointment e-request service that lets patients request appointments online, and allows for a level of interaction between the patient and clinic staff to help find the best time for an appointment.

Are you a patient who is itching to booking appointments online?  If you have a doctor who doesn’t yet offer e-booking, please visit book.iamsick.ca and fill out the form at the bottom of the page to let us know your doctor’s contact information. We will follow-up with your doctor to let them know about the benefits of iamsick.ca e-booking at their clinic.

If don’t have a family doctor and want to book appointments online, you can also use iamsick.ca to search for family doctors accepting new patients.  And, some of these family doctors, as well as some primary care walk-in clinics, accept online appointment booking using iamsick.ca.

Are you a healthcare provider who wants to improve the patient experience in your clinic? Contact partners[at]iamsick.ca to schedule a demo and learn more about how the iamsick.ca e-booking platform can help you.

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How to: Using the iamsick.ca map filter

Did you know that iamsick.ca has filters that help you find the right healthcare provider?

iamsick.ca‘s filters help you narrow down your search so you can find the right healthcare provider for you. You can access these filters on the iamsick.ca map.

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You can filter by:

  • Healthcare provider type
  • Family doctors accepting new patients
  • Healthcare providers open right now
  • Healthcare providers offering e-Booking
  • Languages spoken by the healthcare provider

Healthcare Provider Type

iamsick.ca displays different types of healthcare providers.  These include: emergency rooms, pharmacies, diagnostic labs, urgent care centres, walk-in clinics and family doctors (rostered primary care clinics).

Each type of healthcare provider offers a different service. To view your nearest options, simply click to toggle the healthcare provider type that you’re looking for.  Nearby providers become visible when the provider icon is coloured.

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Family doctors accepting new patients

If you are looking for a family doctor, click on the check box next to “only show family doctors accepting new patients“.

If you can’t find one in your area right now, don’t fret! We are always adding new healthcare providers to our website. Check back later for the updated map.

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Healthcare providers open right now

It’s hard finding open clinics and pharmacies during off-hours. If you are looking for a healthcare provider in the evening or over the weekend, click on “only show healthcare providers open right now” to find care when you need it.

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Healthcare providers offering e-Booking

Did you know that you can book appointments online through iamsick.ca? To find a nearby healthcare provider that accepts online appointment booking, click on “only show healthcare providers offering e-booking“.

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Languages spoken by the healthcare provider 

Find nearby healthcare providers who speak a specific language with a simple click. You can filter by over 70 languages.

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Give our filters a try, and let us know how we can make your healthcare journey easier!

Send us your feedback, questions & suggestions.  You can reach us by email at team[at]iamsick.ca or leave a comment below.

iamsick.ca’s Grand Challenge

How can a Canadian digital health startup like iamsick.ca improve healthcare access for pregnant women living in rural parts of The Philippines?

“You begin by collaborating with another U of T startup… add some sweat and perseverance… along with financial support from Grand Challenges Canada… and soon, you’ll be improving lives beyond our borders.” – Ryan Doherty (President & co-Founder – iamsick.ca / PhD candidate – Medical Biophysics )

It isn’t surprising that remote areas of the world have limited access to healthcare. When it comes to maternal health, this means limited access to obstetricians and diagnostic services that you would see in larger metropolitan areas. In the Philippines, it can be as extreme as 44% of pregnant women giving birth without access to a doctor.

Last Spring, we teamed up with another U of T startup, Sonola Imaging Technologies, whose specialty is creating portable ultrasound hardware, and prepared a Grand Challenges Canada proposal to build a maternal health ultrasound mHealth app & web platform.

Nurses and midwives in remote satellite clinics will use Sonola’s portable ultrasound device and our android app to record ultrasound images. These images would then be easily accessed & viewed by physicians at major health centres in nearby cities.

Last October, Grand Challenges Canada awarded us with a grant to support the project.  So, while working on the iamsick.ca website and mobile apps to help Canadians navigate the healthcare system and book online appointments with their doctors, members of our team have been hard at work on this global health project.

Our team is designing & developing the android app & web infrastructure, while Sonola is building the hardware that will be used to capture the ultrasound images. By working together, our two early-stage Canadian start-ups will create a system that will hopefully redefine maternal health access in rural parts of the Philippines.ultrasound-diagram

The ultimate goal of this project is to create a low-cost and scalable product. In contrast to traditional ultrasound machines, we are using readily available hardware, such as low- to mid-range Android phones and chip sets. In the future, this system could eventually be used to monitor pregnant women living anywhere in the world – whether it’s here at home in Canada, or in regions of the world with high maternal mortality rates. The potential impact of telemedicine systems like these are endless.

As for our system, we’ll finish building it this summer and pilot it in the Philippines before the end of the year.

If you have a bold idea for a innovative technology or process that will help tackle a global health challenge, please check out the Grand Challenges website and take part in their next call for proposals.