Digital technologies are impacting our way of living on a daily basis allowing customers to shop online, make travelling arrangements, use banking services, educational platforms, without physical presence. Healthcare was adopting innovative technologies aiming to increase accuracy of medical outcomes but embracing digital tools for online services was progressing slower than other industries like banking.
Covid-19 pandemic acted as an innovation trigger in the patient pathway transformation. Medical providers had to build a rapid highway towards digitisation, rethinking patient pathways to ensure stronger safety standards.
At Affidea, safety is at the core of everything we do and, with this in mind, we started bridging the digital and physical patient’s medical journey. The driving principle was to enable users of our services to visit our medical center only for performing their examination, while every step before and after the medical procedure could be done online. As a result, we are improving the patients experience, by reducing the time required to receive our services and increasing safety under Covid-19 pandemic.
We have launched patients’ portals across 8 countries with the aim of offering patients a safe and fast way to book their exams and register online, keeping them away from crowded public transport and out of the waiting rooms to reduce the risk of exposure to Covid-19. At the same time, digitising important steps along the patient’s journey allows us to deliver the medical results online, without the need of a second visit in our premises.
While we made important steps toward digitising patients’ journey, we also invested considerable efforts in shaping and ensuring the regulatory safety of our network, keeping data protection as one of our driving priorities.
Digitisation starts from the first contact - Online booking and e-check-in
We understand that the first contact with our centers is often the most important. We started three years ago improving that connection with our patients by establishing call-centers to ensure that our services are promptly accessible and at their convenience. Beyond call-centers, we see online booking becoming a trend so Affidea introduced a second channel of reaching its services with e-booking platforms. Patients can make their appointment in a matter of minutes, based on real time calendar information. They can browse among available clinics, choose the preferred doctor and the required examination, in the selected timeslot and book their reservation. Once the appointment is confirmed, the patient receives an SMS reminder or a notification about an earlier timeslot if that frees up. Appointments can be modified or cancelled at any time.
Patients experience is of utmost importance for us at every step of their journey. We understand how stressful it can be to complete tens of documents at the reception before being seen by a doctor. That’s why, across our countries, we have started to digitise the patients consents, allowing them to complete all relevant safety and data protection questions online, from the comfort of their home.
All these solutions offer our patients higher safety with less presence in waiting rooms and less time spent with paper filling in the center, allowing them to start the examination faster.
From waiting room to virtual queue
At Affidea, we have put in place stringent safety measures to protect our patients and our staff. We are limiting the access in the reception areas to a certain number of people and we ensure social distancing in our premises.
Innovation has always defined our way of working so one of the solutions that we found was to create a virtual queue that would provide valuable information to the patient regarding the counter of reception desk to be welcomed and the consultation room where his appointment is scheduled. In this way, patients are always informed on how to navigate their next step in our centers.
Through the portals, patients standing in the virtual queue can also receive an automatic notification about their turn, so they can approach our center just in time without waiting outside.
Patients can access their medical records at any time
Patients empowerment is an important step in enabling them to manage their health. Our portals place patients in control of their results. It really makes patients the masters of their data. After the scan, once the results are ready, patients can easily view their images and reports and can share their health data, in a secure way, with other family members or their referring doctors.
Virtual consultations - see the doctor from your home today, we're just one click away
When physical distancing is so crucial to slowing the spread of the virus, we have started to implement in some of the Affidea countries video consultations to allow patients to continue to manage their health and see their doctor, without having to physically go into the doctor’s office.
This service allows patients a fast, secure and easy way to receive care from Affidea doctors in a live virtual visit using any device they choose. From anywhere they can go online. It’s fast, affordable, convenient. It’s like they say – see the doctor from your home today, we're just one click away.
Digitally enabled care is no longer going to be a nice-to-have, but rather a fundamental imperative. All of these initiatives that we have implemented at Affidea show how thinking differently from the traditional, systematic way of providing healthcare can drastically improve patient safety and efficiency of care.
At Affidea, we are committed to improve patients’ safety and their overall experience by offering a fast, convenient and secure digital pathway to reach our services.