DCH trials new online appointments

DCH trials new online appointments

Published by George Sharpe at 12:13pm 12th February 2020. (Updated at 9:30pm 12th February 2020)

A new online appointment system could save parents and patients time at Dorset County Hospital.

A new initiative being trialed at Dorset County Hospital and allows patients to attend appointments at the touch of a button. 

Attend Anywhere is a new type of software which allows patients to attend their appointments whilst in the comfort of their own home. 

The software is part of a Dorset-wide trial with Paediatric Consultant William Verling being the first at DCH to take part. 

Photo of Dorset County Hospital

Having worked alongside Medical Secretary Carly Shaw to trial the software for four months, Dr Verling believes Attend Anywhere is an alternative that can save patients and their parents a lot of time and stress.

He said:

"My experience with Attend Anywhere has been fantastic. The software is a massive time saver with 'hands-off' appointments.

"If you think about the time it takes a parent to pick up their child from school, drive to the hospital, find a place to park and then wait for their appointment, it has taken half their day away. That's half a day from work and school, and that time adds up.

"With less patients having to come in to the hospital it could also help with parking problems and congestion and in turn have a positive environmental impact."

Patients suitable for Attend Anywhere would receive their appointment letter as usual, but the venue would be a URL link which can be accessed online through any device.

Patients will be able to go to their appointments just by following a link sent to them in their appointment letter.
Patients will be able to go to their appointments just by following a link sent to them in their appointment letter.

Once signed in, the patient will wait in a virtual waiting room and from that the consultants can connect for their face-to-face appointment. 

The initiative builds on the back of successful trials at Dorset Healthcare.

Dr Verling added:

"The feedback I've received has been really, really positive.

"It's easy to use and the video calls are clear and of high quality.

"We know how busy people are, and having a child with additional health needs you need to bring into Dorchester for ongoing appointments can impact significantly on work, school and family time.

child holding adults hand

"By using this software it saves so much of that time. 

"I've also found that some children find it more comfortable to be in their own home and therefore they open up more to us.

"It is important to note that this does not replace standard outpatient appointments and those children who are being seen for the first time or need to be examined will be offered face-to-face appointments."