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myD-H Direct Scheduling: Patient and Provider Approved

myD-H Direct Scheduling: Patient and Provider Approved

Every myD-H user who takes advantage of direct scheduling really, really loves it.

Chase Levesque, PsyD

Scheduling a doctor’s appointment isn’t hard, but it can take time. It requires carving time out to make a call, waiting on hold and at times waiting for a call back. When they do connect, patients and secretaries have to work through various time and date options before finding one that fits everyone’s schedule.

myD-H Direct Scheduling makes appointment scheduling easier and less time consuming for patients and providers. Implemented in January 2016, myD-H Direct Scheduling is now available to established myD-H patients in 35 departments across the Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) health system. Through November 2016, it has been used to schedule over 2,500 appointments.

“Direct scheduling was part of the Enterprise Systems Integration (ESI) work that allowed our business and clinical systems to talk nicely,” says James Neilsen, who, as project director for ESI Patient Experience, led the design and implementation. [Neilsen is currently senior manager, Medical Service Line.] “It allows myD-H users to access their provider’s schedule, find an opening that fits their calendar, and make an appointment without being a slave to their phone."

LiveWell/WorkWell (LWWW) patients have embraced direct scheduling. “We had 100 self-scheduled appointments in November,” says Karen Wertman, senior clinical secretary, LWWW Primary Care. “I check every appointment. Patients can leave messages and I read those too. If they note that they sprained an ankle, but made an appointment for two weeks out, I get in touch to get them in sooner.”

Wertman, and the providers she supports, really appreciate the administrative time savings. Free from spending 5 to 10 minutes on each appointment call, secretaries have more time to set up new patients, receive and transmit records, and help patients who have emergencies.

“There is much less back and forth,” says Chase Levesque, PsyD, a Live Well/Work Well provider. “Most of my patients are working during business hours. This tool allows them to pull up my schedule at a time that is convenient for them, and if necessary they can also schedule a same day appointment. Every myD-H user who takes advantage of direct scheduling really, really loves it.”

Julie Alarcon, applied systems programmer analyst, IS Registration and Billing, agrees, “My calendar is pretty packed. With myD-H Direct Scheduling, I can look at my calendar and see the available choices for my Primary Care provider, and choose a time that works for me.”