Children’s Hospital adds online scheduling optionJul. 22, 2021, 9:53 AM
by Jessica Pasley
Self-checkout and online ordering have become ways for consumers to gain both control and convenience in today’s marketplace. And health care is no exception.
At Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, providing patients and families access to its many physicians and services prompted the roll out of a self-scheduling module.
Piloted a few years ago by the Department of Urology, the platform proved successful. And recently the COVID-19 pandemic set the stage for wider use of the digital access model.
Since implementing self-scheduling/-rescheduling for return appointments through the My Heath at Vanderbilt patient portal for existing patients, developers noted the increased use of the tool, especially during the pandemic.
“Convenient access to health care was a key factor in moving forward with online scheduling,” said Chris Lee, chief operating officer, Outpatient Clinics at Children’s Hospital. “Our hope is to provide multiple options for our families to schedule appointments in a timely fashion, and we plan to add additional enhancements as we see more use.
“It’s an excellent tool for families that gives them more control to navigate appointments that have to fit into their day-to-day activities.”
Ease of scheduling and patient-centered focus has led to steady growth in the online scheduling option.
“We are truly meeting the patient family where they are,” said Angela Hunter, assistant director, Information Systems and Access at Children’s Hospital. “It is much easier for someone to set up, cancel or change an appointment when and where it is convenient for them.
“There is an appetite for this, and we hope to include more specialists in the scheduling portal.”
For now, parents can go to https://www.vanderbilthealth.com/ and https://www.childrenshospitalvanderbilt.org/ to schedule new patient appointments as well as through provider profiles listed on specialty pages of the Children’s Hospital website at childrenshospitalvanderbilt.org.
The roll-out of online scheduling is available for nearly all clinical areas, with the exception of some specialties where patients often benefit from direct interaction with clinical staff, such as oncology and neurosurgery, that can require multiple provider appointments.
“We have found that with the pandemic, people have become more comfortable with digital platforms and we wanted to offer a way for our patients to have management and control to better improve their access to health care.”