Book-your-own online appointment system proving popular with colposcopy patients

Ubook logo
The Ubook appointment system is popular with colposcopy patients.
Hutt Hospital colposcopy patients now have the option of booking their own first specialist appointment online at a time that suits them.

The system, called Ubook, is understood to be a first for New Zealand. Since its launch in April 2012, 61 percent of colposcopy patients have used Ubook to book their appointment.

Hutt Valley District Health Board Ubook project manager Dawn Livesey says the new system is all about giving people greater choice and flexibility and is part of patient focused-booking.

She says Ubook is very easy to use and of those who use it to make their colposcopy appointment, only 1.4 percent do not attend.

“Patients are less likely to miss their appointment because they have chosen a date and time that is convenient and meaningful to them.

“It also greatly reduces the time spent manually contacting patients to offer appointment times and the re-work previously undertaken by admin staff when patients cancelled or rescheduled their appointments.”

Patients receive a referral letter inviting them to make or change their appointment using Ubook, or via the usual method of phoning the booking office. Only dates that meet the timeframes in the guidelines for colposcopy are offered.

Urgent appointments are still managed manually and the system notifies the colposcopy department if a patient doesn’t make an appointment via Ubook or cancels it, so there can be appropriate follow up, including notifying the woman’s GP.

Ms Livesey says patient surveys show a high level of satisfaction with Ubook, which is also available for first specialist appointments for other services, such as general surgery, gynaecology, dermatology, and gastroenterology. Around 34 percent of all Ubook appointments are made outside normal working hours. Plans are underway to make follow-up appointments available via Ubook as well.

“Patient empowerment is at the core of the Ubook concept, but the system also has the benefit of streamlining booking administration processes, in particular the number of phone calls needed to make a booking,” she says.

“There is better management of urgent appointments and better separation of our front and back office operations, which allows more focus on the patient.
“Patients now have a choice of appointments and are seen in order of priority. Ubook has also helped improve the reliability of our booking capacity management and planning, and consultants’ leave.”

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Page last updated: 26 February 2014