Currently there is a situation where the digital registration systems of different health care institutions are not integrated. Because of this there is no central unit through which the patient could see the appointment times and waiting lists for all medical workers practicing in Estonia. As a result of this situation the long waiting lists and frequently missed appointment by the patients have become a problem. It has become apparent during the inspections of the Health Care Board that in some health care institutions the percentage of missed appointments can be as high as 50%. This has influenced the Estonian Health Insurance Fund to have an opinion that in most specialty areas and in most health care institutions the waiting lists are caused by non-monetary problems, i.e. the problem lies within work organization.
The initiators of this project believe that the centralized information exchange between health care institutions will result in more effective time use for doctors as well as the patients, and in conclusion it will bring about an improved medical service quality for patients.
During the projects, with the help of a partner employed from a private sector, a centrally administered Digital Registration system will be developed that enables patients and family physicians to view all the available appointments of all medical doctors, to book appointments, and to cancel existing bookings over the web portal.
During the project the existing registration systems used by health care providers will not be replaced with the new ones. This would bring about unnecessarily big costs as well as the need to provide comprehensive training for medical workers in order to teach them how to use the new system. Instead of replacing the existing systems, uniform standards will be developed on the basis of which the existing systems will be interfaced with the central web portal.
During the projects, a centrally administered digital registration system is developed. Within the system it will be possible to execute an inquiry for collecting identical type of data.
- This type of system structure enables more than just one inquirer to be on the market.
- It is possible to integrate the digital registration function into the information systems of family physicians/ or hospitals.
- The system will ensure the accuracy of information.
- Patient is able to get a medical appointment faster because of a more efficient distribution of work load.
- Patient can already make an appointment when at family physician’s office. The family physician can electronically add a referral and a confirmation.
- As a result of this, the quality of the appointment booking will improve, and that will enable to plan more effectively the appointments and treatment schemes.