Missed appointments are shown to lower efficiencies in the healthcare system, preventing patients from getting timely access to care, and wasting valuable clinical resources including physicians' time. In response, Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) today announced the launch of its instant online appointment system to help
improve the estimated no-show rate of 37% in the UAE compared to the global rate that ranges between 15% to 30%.
A missed appointment or no-show is defined as patients who fail to attend their scheduled appointments. When patients miss appointments, clinical capacity is poorly utilized, decreasing physician and staff productivity, and affecting healthcare delivery.
DHCC's instant online appointment system contributes to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who, in his Fifty-Year Charter, mandates transformation of the UAE's medical system and access to medical consultations 24/7.
Ahead of Arab Health on Monday, January 28, DHCC launched the system that can be accessed via www.dhcc.ae, and shows real-time DHCC physicians' availability. A patient, including a medical tourist, can now search for a DHCC physician by specialty, insurance, and even language spoken, to book an appointment. Once they book, the patient will receive text messages and email reminders, and if required, they can cancel or reschedule instantly.
The system, which facilitates instant online appointments in less than 40 seconds with select hospitals and clinics in the free zone, has been introduced in partnership with healthtech start-up Okadoc.com.
"We recognize the importance of improving patient care and patient experience, and understand the concerns shared by our providers in the free zone who have to deal with inefficiencies and lost revenue due to no-shows. We are excited about introducing a technology solution that will give our patients a trusted easy-to-access tool to manage their healthcare better, and our providers, another approach to tackling no-shows," said Omar Oumeish, Executive Director of Dubai Healthcare City Authority.
Speaking about a comprehensive approach to improve healthcare delivery and resource planning while reducing cost of care, Dr. Ramadan AlBlooshi, CEO, Dubai Healthcare City Authority – Regulatory (DHCR), said, "Whether in a primary or secondary care setting, providers have to adopt several practices to ensure patients keep their appointments. Practices can include creating a welcoming environment, patient engagement strategies, referrals, and implementing technology solutions to remind patients. We are confident DHCC's appointment platform will help facilitate more efficient healthcare management, and in turn, improve health outcomes."
Explaining the prevalence of missed appointments, Fodhil Benturquia, CEO and Founder of Okadoc.com, said according to available estimates, hospitals and clinics in the UAE face a 37% no-show rate, with 50% of patients forgetting appointments and 40% being unable to call in time to cancel.
Through the partnership with DHCC, Benturquia is looking forward to improving efficiencies in the health sector. He said, "Our partnership with DHCC is a testament to Okadoc's leading technology platform that provides exceptional benefits to both healthcare providers and patients in the DHCC free zone. We are joining hands to improve the healthcare experience for all, and help the UAE become the country with the highest per capita number of instantly bookable doctors in the world."
As of January, DHCC's instant online appointment system has specialists from DHCC-based Emirates Specialty Hospital, Eye Consultants, and Digestive Health and Endoscopy Consultants, among others with plans to onboard most of its clinical partners by 2021.