Patients to Communicate with Physicians through Mobile App

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Croatian Institute for Health Insurance will make life easier for patients and physicians.

In a few days, patients will be able to communicate with their family physicians via smartphones, since the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance (HZZO) will activate its mobile application which will connect patients with their family physicians. Thus, anyone with a smartphone will be able to contact their physician and ask for a prescription, ask them to approve a sick leave, or ask for a appointment to see the physician personally for an exam, reports Novi List on October 24, 2016.

Patients will receive a password to log on to the application from their physicians. This service should facilitate the work of physicians and save time for patients, who will no longer have to personally come to doctor’s office or call them over the phone. This will be an upgrade to the existing eHZZO portal for patients, which has attracted about 2,500 patients in the last two months. The service is daily used by only between 60 to 80 people, which is not many given the total number of insured persons.

“When you enter the system via a mobile application, physician automatically sees your request. They answer with yes or no. If the answer is yes, you will receive a message that, for example, the prescription has been sent to the pharmacy. If the answer is negative, you will receive a message to call the doctor by phone or come and see them personally”, explained HZZO director Fedor Dorčić.

In the first phase, the app will be available to about 1.5 million people, and by the beginning of the next year, it will be open for everybody. When all hospitals and other health facilities become connected in the eZdravstvo system, only then will the system provide real benefits.

For example, a patient who now needs to have a heart ultrasound or a CT of the abdomen, can apply for these exams in three different hospitals, and then decide which of the appointments suits them best. In such a way, they take slots which should be available to other patients and make waiting lists even longer than they should be, because two appointments remain unused. It is estimated that currently up to a third of the appointments are not used. Once a unified system is in place which will connect all the hospitals, it will be possible to order an appointment in just one hospital. It is expected that this part of the system will be available starting from the second half of 2017. HZZO will receive about 100 million kuna from EU funds in order to connect all the various hospital IT systems together.

The computerization will also solve the problem of uncollected exam results, which sometimes represent as many as 30 percent of all exams. These are cases in which patients have an exam in a hospital, but strangely never bother to come to get their results.


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