Making appointment scheduling easier at Starship

Children and their whānau are at the heart of a new patient focused booking system being piloted at Starship, and the initial feedback is both positive and promising.


Above: Members of the Starship Patient Scheduling Team

The pilot is testing a new process for the scheduling of outpatient clinic appointments by engaging with the parent or caregiver to give them more choice about the appointment date and time, one that works for them. The goal is to improve the experience for the whānau, and to also reduce the rates of non-attendance at appointments.

The pilot launched in June this year starting initially with three Starship services - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Respiratory - where non-attendance and re-scheduling rates were highest.

Operations Manager, Medical at Starship Carla Jacobson is delighted with what she’s observed so far. “The first call came within an hour of sending our first appointment invitations, the schedulers are getting great job satisfaction from being able to make an appointment for the parent or carer at a time that works for them. Within the first month re-scheduling rates dropped by 50%,” she says.

On the strength of the initial roll-out, the pilot is set to expand to include three more Starship services in the immediate future to support families under the care of Starship’s Gastroenterology, Immunology and Neurology services who are coming to outpatient clinic appointments.

With increased resource and infrastructure required to get this new way of working tested and trialled, the Starship Foundation has fast-tracked the rollout of the Patient Focussed Booking pilot programme with funding support.

Carla Jacobson is optimistic; “We anticipate that we’ll see more children and whānau making it to their outpatient appointments at Starship, ensuring they receive the care and monitoring needed to stay well and enjoying life.”

This story comes from our Spring Friendship newsletter.