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【SHINE】A more efficient way of pairing doctors with patients

March 01, 2021      Author: Cai Wenjun

Renji Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine has introduced a trial of an advanced outpatient reservation system that determines the appropriate medical provider for people based on the medical test reports they upload. The system makes better use of limited medical resources and precisely determines which patients require a specialist's care and those who do not.

"In the past, patients made unnecessary appointments with specialists when they could have seen a more general medical provider, which was inefficient due to the limited number of specialists our hospital has," said Zhang Binyuan, Renji's out-patient service director. "The precise reservation screens out those who don't need to see a specialist and saves those resources for people who really do."

Since the system debuted in December, 62 specialists in 15 different departments have signed up.

Dr Zhao Xiaojing, director of Renji's thoracic surgery department, said the new system has helped him reduce his patient quantity by two-thirds, providing more attention for each patient he sees.

"Previously, I had to see 110 to 120 patients in one day, only 10 to 20 percent of whom actually needed surgery and the majority didn't require a specialist's care," he said. "On average, I only had two to three minutes to talk to each patient."

With the new system, Zhao checks each patient's medical record online and provides suggestions to those who don't require a specialist's care.

"Only those whose conditions require a face-to-face consultation with me are given appointments," he said. "Currently, I only see 30 to 40 patients in one day of outpatient service and half of them require surgery. I can give each patient 15 minutes to clearly explain their conditions and guide pre-surgery preparation. The system enhances medical efficiency and improves communication between patients and doctors."

More than 600 patients have benefited from the new reservation system over the past three months, which will be expanded in the future, the hospital said.

Dr Zhao Xiaojing of Renji Hospital checks the medical record of a patient on the precise reservation system.

A CT image sent by a patient through the new reservation system.

 

Source: SHINE