In the fall of 2011 Medixine provided the Finnish Student Healthcare System (YTHS) with a service that enables students to assess their need of care filling in a set of web questionnaires and, when needed, book an appointment using an interactive web service. The aim of this service is to offer an alternative to YTHS’s current policy of assessing the need of care over the phone.
Medixine and YTHS piloted the service with students using one of the YTHS surgeries in the city of Helsinki. One care pathway from each of the main areas of care were selected for the service: contraception and sexual health, eating disorders and tooth injuries.
The pilot reached all its goals. Students felt they had an easier and faster way to contact their care provider, available 24 hours a day. The possibility of booking a doctor’s appointment online also helped students who suffer from a fear of social situations.
The main attraction of the new system to students was the possibility to book appointments online. However, the main advantage for YTHS is the automatic system that helps assessing the need for treatment. The service frees up personnel resources by lowering the number of incoming phone calls at the practice. During the pilot, students booked 526 doctor’s appointments online and made 1322 electric requests for renewing prescriptions. The system also improves the quality of care: students who booked their appointments using the web service had conditions that really required a visit. The questionnaires in the web service also helps students to evaluate their own health before booking an office visit. In some conditions, such as eating disorders, this is extremely valuable.
The service is now available as a Medixine solution and can be modified for the needs of other health care providers.