A Kraaifontein clinic is part of a pilot project to get rid of long queues and endless waiting at city health facilities by jacking up the appointment system.
The City of Cape Town launched the project on Friday April 13, and Harmonie Clinic in Frans Conradie Drive is part of it.
The new appointment system is a joint initiative between City Health and the University of the Western Cape and forms part of the Appointment Systems Learning Initiative (ASLI) project.
Under the old system, patients are assigned a date for their clinic appointment and then wait their turn to be seen.
Patients arrive early on the day of the appointment and wait a long time before being see.
The new system lets patients phone in for follow-up visits and arrive at the appointed time, reducing the burden on both patients and staff.
JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security; and social services said: “We are well aware that congested waiting areas are a source of stress not only to our patients but also to staff. We welcome this new initiative as it will improve both patient and staff satisfaction.
“Patients were given both a date and a time for their appointment based on the preference of the patient, as well as appointment availability and urgency of care.
“They were required only to arrive at the facility at the appointed time, and were given priority over patients without appointments or those who arrived late for their appointment.
“It is this learning from the project that is now being used to inform the appointment systems in all City Health facilities.”
The appointment system will include all non-emergency and chronic health services. Emergency cases are triaged.
Mr Smith said an electronic appointment tool, to be introduced later this year, would support the current appointment book system.
“Not only are electronic calendars easier to maintain but are also faster at accessing information and communications technology,” he said.