As Managing Partner in a growing multispecialty group on Long Island and a technology afficionado I took particular interest in IT solutions that could potentially change the game for our practice.
A particular peeve of mine was the scheduling process. Hearing our staff patiently guide callers through dates and times available on calls that could take 10-15 minutes made me gnash my teeth. When my Dad, who grew up in a time before television, can book a flight on line it baffled me that we still required our patients to call us to schedule an exam. Sure enough it seemed there was an emerging technology solution. Zocdoc was gaining lots of media attention for its online scheduling platform for doctors. Alas, at that time Zocdoc's pricing model failed to recognize the nature of most radiology appointments which are made FOR a particular test, not WITH a particular doctor.
I was fortunate shortly after to meet Josefina Jervis, CEO of Opendoctors247 who took a much more creative approach to meeting our scheduling needs. Backed by the power of Sterling Infosystems, a global employee health verification company, Opendoctors was able to bring a collaborative approach to making online scheduling available for our patients.
We decided to pilot full online scheduling for screening mammography. Many practices say they offer online scheduling when in fact what they offer is the ability to send in a request for an appointment and receive a call or email. That does not meet my criteria for online scheduling. I wanted busy women to be able to sit down at 9pm once everything else was done and schedule their all-important mammogram. We know that improving access to screening results in higher compliance and being able to schedule your mammogram at your convenience seems like a no brainer.
Were there naysayers? You bet. Concerns were rife that that women would book screening studies when they needed a diagnostic mammogram, worries expressed that the interface between OpenDr and our RIS would misfire and cause either empty slots or, worse, double booking. In the end, through a careful process of developing the questions that direct patients through the site and a patient yet persistent approach to working with our long established and change averse RIS provider, Josefina and her team overcame everyone's doubts.
Since the initial implementation, ultrasound, x-Ray, DXA, CT and MRI scheduling have been added. To facilitate the implementation of scheduling of advanced imaging (which often requires pre-authorization) OpenDr has added a new module that manages workflow, permitting those patients who have already obtained their pre-auth to see closer appointments than those who haven’t yet obtained the pre-auth. OpenDrs has also developed the ability to transmit reports to both patients and providers and can even integrate images into those reports.
I should stress that I do not have a financial relationship with the Company, I just like a good product that meets a need. OpenDoctors247 does just that.