Busy clinics now have an easy administrative solution that can cut calls from patients inquiring about wait times by about 40 percent. Called Medimap, the site was launched in September 2015, and is now being used by over 250 clinics in B.C, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario. “Wait times are already updated throughout the day by clinic staff so they can field calls from patients. We’ve simply automated a process that already exists on our website,” explains CEO Blake Adam (pictured).
With an easy-to-use app, Medimap sends alerts throughout the day to remind clinic staff to update the website, where wait time information is posted to a centralized community resource that patients can check. Clinics can also post if they have reached capacity for the day, and they can change clinic hours on a day-to-day basis.
When patients login, Medimap shows all participating clinics in the city on a Google map, their distance to the user and estimated wait times. Patients can also see when it was last updated so they know how current the information is.
Medimap increases patient satisfaction in addition to decreasing calls about wait times, says Adam. “They have an idea of how long a wait they can expect when they arrive. That means that clinics have fewer frustrated patients to deal with in person and on the phone, which also increases staff productivity.”
Adam says Medimap provides a package that helps clinics maximize the effectiveness of Medimap with an awareness campaign. The package includes posters and flyers that can be placed in the waiting room, and tips about including the Medimap Web address in the clinic’s voicemail greeting, website and Facebook page.
“It tends to take a few weeks before patients get the feel for it, but it’s very effective once they’re informed there’s a website where they can check wait times. And Medimap is so easy to implement – clinics can start using it immediately without any trouble. That’s really the key.”
When Medimap initially launched the service, Adam says his team wasn’t sure if they’d see higher adoption in rural or urban areas. “As it turns out, the program helps clinics in both areas. From a patient’s perspective, there’s more value in using Medimap when there are many clinics participating in the area because it provides more options. But rural areas benefit too because they often have to close early when they have very high patient volumes, so they can communicate that to potential patients right away online.”
The number of clinics and patients who use Medimap is growing substantially. “At this point, about 3,000 patients use Medimap every day, and the number of participating clinics keeps growing. We get a lot of new business via word of mouth. Satisfied staff who use Medimap often send their colleagues at other clinics our way.”
Medimap’s team also does a lot of cold calling. “The biggest barrier in our expansion is simply getting through to the right decision-maker at the clinic because people are so busy. Once we actually have the opportunity to get in front of them, there aren’t many barriers because Medimap is really a no-brainer. It’s free, it’s simple to use, it reduces calls and patient frustration, and we provide the communication materials.”
At present, the team is primarily focused on expanding the number of clinics and geographic locations that participate in Medimap, especially in Quebec.
“We want every clinic of French Canada to be a part of this so we have the biggest network of clinic availability across the country in one place for patients. Our vision is ultimately to establish Medimap as the ubiquitous online resource across Canada. Imagine if patients knew that, no matter where they are in Canada, they could count on Medimap to find the fastest access to care.”
To get set up on Medimap, call 604-812-1821 or go to http://www.Medimap.ca/#contact