Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Online Health

I've seen a heck of a lot of bad press for the NHS and its IT overhauling - mostly in IT trade magazines which I pretend never to read as it's bad for my street cred.

But as an end user, I have to say, the simplicity of the online 'Choose and Book' scheme is fantastic.

If you need to see a consultant at a hospital, your GP can sign you up for 'Choose and Book.' What this means is that you can check online for all the hospitals in your area offering the care you need. Here you can see the average wait time for each hospital, so you can make an informed decision about where to go for your care based on wait time and location.

OK - so when I went to choose and book there was no difference in wait time for each hospital, but I actually felt in control of the process. It may sound silly, but this sense of control as opposed to the feeling of waiting for 'them' to write you with your appointment, not being sure where you'll have to go etc etc, makes a huge difference to how a patient feels and their experience of the care system.

It means a lot to people to feel in control of their own destiny...in so far as they can be when it comes to health.

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