Monday morning at doctor’s practices, it is always the same picture: Overflowing waiting rooms, acute cases without appointments, all the telephone lines are engaged, and the doctors and medical staff are very busy. Patients who call the practice to order repeat prescriptions or make appointments are left waiting on hold. Many don’t even get through, so they have to call again at another time.
MediOne offers a contemporary, holistic communication solution for such scenarios. The concept: All institutions in the healthcare sector, for example doctors’ practices, physiotherapists, hospitals and care and rehabilitation facilities, are connected via a secure, protected communication channel. Patients can use a chat function to order prescriptions from a practice, make appointments and request test results, or to submit diagnostic findings and x-ray images. Meanwhile, doctors and hospitals can exchange and discuss patient results. The focus is on security and discretion. Reliable end-to-end encryption means that only the communication partners involved can read the messages.
The initiator and co-founder of MediOne GmbH is general practitioner Dr Ralph Jäger. As a primary care physician with a practice in Baden-Württemberg he sees every day that: “Patients are much less willing to come to the practice or call when it comes to organisational matters and appointments. That particularly applies to young people and those with busy work schedules. They want a direct text-based communication channel with the practice, which can transmit their message immediately and saves them time.”
The technical IT infrastructure is made up of the modules smartphone app, desktop application and administrative cockpit. The app is available to patients, while the other components are designed for the practice or medical institution and can be used with mobile devices or computers. The data transfer and management server is located in Germany.
Andreas Hitzbleck, Head of e-Health at adesso, has taken on the management of MediOne GmbH. He points to current developments in the regulatory environment that support this new business model: “Our activities in the area of networked, digital, secure communications infrastructure go hand-in-hand with the current possibility of a loosening of the ban on remote treatment, which is being pursued by the German Medical Association. That could soon result in online appointments becoming an everyday occurrence.”
Experience with the application to date confirms these expectations: In its one-year pilot phase, MediOne significantly reduced peak hours and caller hold times. Patients enthusiastically took up the app offering and contacted practices at flexible, convenient times. That took pressure off specialist medical staff in the day-to-day organisation of the practice.
After registering, doctors and medical institutions can use the system for a license fee within the scope of a flexible monthly subscription. Patients can download the app free from the app stores.