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The Comprehensive Abortion and Reproductive Education (CARE) program at BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre offers counseling and abortion services to women who are experiencing unplanned pregnancies or to those who require an abortion for genetic or medical reasons.
The CARE clinic takes its appointments by telephone. Concerns included significant time on hold, averaging up to 45 minutes, patients desiring to make appointment outside of regular office hours and on weekends, and patients’ desire to use Internet services for appointments and medical information.
In June, 2013, an online booking system was launched as a 3-month pilot project to provide women with the option to book their appointments online. Expected outcomes were to increase access to care, create efficiencies and provide a better experience for women.
A secure web site was established, linked to the primary BC Women’s Hospital site, where prospective clients could log in, provide a medical history, and request an appointment at the CARE clinic.
A secure web form was developed and tested. The form comprised five pages, including demographic and clinical information. Sections on the form were designed to expand and contract depending on patient input.
When the form was completed, the information was electronically transferred to a PDF form and returned to the clinic using secure email. The clinic then responded to the patient, using secure email, with pre-admission details and a date and time for the appointment.
83% - found online booking as “very easy"
95% - form was “definitely easy to understand"
90% - “definitely” able to answer questions on the online form with ease
89% - “definitely” were able to retrieve their email appointments with ease
84% - “definitely” recommend online booking to others
42% - bookings occur outside of clinic hours (38%)