PEI deploys reminder app for DI appointments
May 25, 2022
CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – Prince Edward Island’s hospitals have been using a technological solution called Skip the Waiting Room to remind Islanders about their diagnostic imaging appointments. The made-in-PEI solution sends out alerts to patients via text or phone message.
The deployment is in response to the surging number of Islanders who are missing their diagnostic imaging appointments. Their numbers have doubled in recent months, rising from about 100 per month to 200.
Gailyne MacPherson (pictured), the director of diagnostic imaging for Health P.E.I., told CBC News that Skip the Waiting Room appears to be working.
“We believe that it is getting better as people get used to it. Hair appointments are done by text reminder, and esthetician appointments are done that way. As it becomes mainstream, we expect the response will be better.”
General X-ray, ultrasound and mammograms are the most frequently missed appointments.
Why are patients missing their appointments? MacPherson said some people may be afraid to come to a hospital for testing during the COVID-19 pandemic. And a sense of urgency may not always be there for mammograms, she said, if patients are not experiencing symptoms.
“We found out that 25 percent of the no shows in ultrasound were follow-up breast ultrasound,” MacPherson said.
“We know that now this is recent information that has come to light. And so we’re going to have to look at, are those first follow up, second follow ups, subsequent follow ups? We don’t we don’t have all the detail on that data yet.”
Health P.E.I. is asking anyone who can’t make their appointment to reschedule so it can be given to someone else.
According to Skip the Waiting Room’s website, the company’s goal is to integrate with Walk in Clinic providers and improve their operations, efficiency, data tracking, and reporting. “These medical walk-in clinics will benefit from our partnership and clients will be better able to make informed decisions,” the site says.
Skip the Waiting Room is being used by walk-in clinics across Canada. In PEI, three X-ray clinics are using the app, according to the company’s website.
The automated system for walk-in clinics enables patients to book their own appointments. The system will alert the patient about the best time to leave home or work to make the appointment on time, with the shortest wait to see a doctor or technologist.
For more information, see https://skipthewaitingroom.com/