Many benefit from hospitals' companion diagnosis service

Updated: Oct 7, 2023 China Daily Print
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The Beijing Friendship Hospital recently launched the online companion diagnosis service, which has been welcomed by many patients, especially senior citizens.

A 66-year-old woman, surnamed Liu, accidentally sprained her foot and rushed to the Beijing Friendship Hospital for orthopedic treatment in August. She told Beijing Daily that she found staff members at the hospital teaching patients how to use the online companion diagnosis service on their smartphones.

"The hospital was crowded. In the past, I would ask the guide if I didn't understand something," Liu said."Now, I can just look it up on my phone. The online service covers almost everything one needs to know."

On the WeChat account of the Beijing Friendship Hospital, patients can tap on the online companion diagnosis section and find a series of options helping them book an appointment, check-in, and even get tests done.

During a visit to the hospital, patients only need to tap on the corresponding options, enabling them to obtain information and make adjustments at any time. They can view the real-time number of people waiting in line, change the appointment time for examinations, and retrieve old reports for the doctor's reference.

There is also an in-hospital floor navigation service helping patients quickly find the desired consultation and examination rooms. "The online companion diagnosis service makes the visit to the hospital easier by adding an additional electronic guide to be with the patients. This has improved efficiency for both doctors and patients," said Guo Xin, deputy director of the outpatient department at the Beijing Friendship Hospital.

Before the service was launched, there was a two-month debugging process or trial run, during which they sought opinions from doctors and patients. For example, in terms of appointment scheduling for examinations, the earlier system would automatically give a patient the earliest available time, making it difficult for patients who needed to undergo multiple tests to choose a suitable time. With the help of the new system, patients can now consolidate appointments for different tests on the same day without having to make multiple trips to the hospital.

Beijing is not the only city that uses this modern technology to improve patients' hospital experience. At several hospitals in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, patients can register themselves on a waiting list for a doctor's appointment, raising the efficiency of medical resources.

According to Nanjing Daily, moving from offline services to cloud has helped improve the healthcare service experience, which has become more intelligent and integrated all aspects of outpatient medical services.

For instance, many hospitals in Beijing and Nanjing can now decoct traditional Chinese medicines and deliver them to patients' homes.

The National Health Commission, together with the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, issued a proposal in May to improve the medical experience and enhance patients' satisfaction from 2023 to 2025.

The aim was to further improve the overall process of medical treatment. Six aspects with a total of 20 specific measures were proposed, focusing on the entire process of seeking medical care.

It is mentioned that innovative ideas should be introduced to enhance the pre-diagnosis experience of patients. Especially, medical institutions can utilize artificial intelligence to improve the appointment and treatment system, thereby increasing the accuracy of appointments.

Compared with the controversy over AI writing prescriptions, the online companion diagnosis service has been trouble-free and received more applause.

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