A survey taken last year by Zingoos revealed three main issues with the Indian Healthcare service in 2014. Within this article we are going to take a closer look at what those issues are, and how they could be resolved.
Patients are not happy with the doctor appointment booking process. They want a better and simplified appointment booking process.
A large proportion of those surveyed- sixty-eight percent- claim to be unhappy with the process of booking an appointment with a doctor. They are finding it too difficult and too complicated to gain the appointment that they want. In this day and age, everything is so simple- a few clicks, one phone call, and you have achieved your task. However, this is not true of the doctor booking system. Patients feel that they are having to jump through hoops simply to make an appointment, and they want this to change.
TWO: Internet Doctors
Patients search for medical problems on the internet and trust a doctor with an online presence. They look for easy access of a doctor post clinic visit.
Although we as a society are aware of the dangers of trusting online diagnosis and trying to self medicate, a whopping fifty-four percent said that they still do this. Following a visit to the doctor, patients are then browsing the web to find another doctor to help them online. They place their trust in these online presences after putting their condition in to a search engine. The reason that over half of those surveyed put their trust in online doctors is relevant to the first issue we discussed- the appointment booking process. If it were easier to get an appointment, then they would not turn to the internet. The solution to this problem? Make it easier to access the doctor again after the initial visit. This could be implemented by something as simple as a follow up phone call or follow up email.
THREE: SMS and Internet
Patients search for doctors online and prefer to book appointment via SMS or Internet
This last point really brings together the two previous items. As aforementioned, the world has changed- you can now do almost anything within a few clicks. You can book movie tickets, pay your bills, sign up for an educational course, order your dinner- all without having to even speak to anyone. This is great for those of us who are busy. We are constantly on the move, and do not have time to take out a few minutes to be put on hold, waiting to be transferred to an operator. However, the healthcare system has not yet caught up. We are still making phone calls and waiting in telephone queues. Twenty-seven percent said that they would like to book via SMS or the Internet. This is a great idea, and would solve the problems raised by the other sixty-eight and fifty-four percent of Indian Healthcare users. The system of online appointment booking would make accessing appointments easier, and follow up visits easier. The doctor could even access the patient files online and communicate via email to track their progress. The online healthcare system has been implemented in other countries, so it is time that it came to India.