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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020171

Features of Online Hospital Appointment Systems in Taiwan: A Nationwide Survey

1
Department of Family Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei 112, Taiwan
2
Graduate Institute of Communication Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 112, Taiwan
3
School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 112, Taiwan
4
Department of Public Finance, National Chengchi University, Taipei 116, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 November 2018 / Revised: 31 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 9 January 2019
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Abstract

Background: In the Internet era, many web-based appointment systems for hospitals have been established to replace traditional systems. Our study aimed to highlight the features of online appointment systems for hospitals in Taiwan, where patients can visit outpatient departments without a referral. Methods: All hospitals online appointment systems were surveyed in October 2018. Features of first-visit registrations were analyzed and stratified according to the hospitals’ accreditation levels. Results: Of the 417 hospitals, 59.7% (249) had public online appointment systems. For first-visit patients, only 199 hospitals offered the option of making appointments online from 7 to 98 (mean 38.9) days prior to the appointment itself. Before appointments, 68 (34.2%) hospitals recommended specialties for patients to choose according to their symptoms, and only 11 (5.5%) had a function for sending messages to doctors. After appointments, 176 (88.4%) provided links to real-time monitoring of outpatient service progress. Conclusions: More than half of the hospitals in Taiwan have public online appointment systems. However, most of these systems simply fulfill the function of registration, and rarely take the opportunity to improve efficiency by gathering information regarding patients’ medical history or reasons for making the appointment. View Full-Text
Keywords: appointments and schedules; online systems; outpatient clinics; hospital; Taiwan appointments and schedules; online systems; outpatient clinics; hospital; Taiwan
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Yang, P.-C.; Chu, F.-Y.; Liu, H.-Y.; Shih, M.-J.; Chen, T.-J.; Chou, L.-F.; Hwang, S.-J. Features of Online Hospital Appointment Systems in Taiwan: A Nationwide Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 171.

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