Groene Hart Hospital Leverages Qmatic for a Safer Patient Experience

Groene Hart Ziekenhus (GHZ), is a modern, flexible, and progressive general hospital located in the Dutch town Gouda with the mission to be the hospital for the residents and healthcare professionals in the Groene Hart region. GHZ is renowned to provide easily accessible and state-of-the-art medical specialist care at its four different locations, Gouda, Bodegraven, Schoonhoven and Zuidplas and aims to provide patient-centric care with a patient-as-partner approach.

The Hospital has some 350 beds, employs 178 medical specialists and 2,000 healthcare workers and has over 317,000 polyclinic visits each year. In 2012, GHZ was the first hospital in the Netherlands to be certified in accordance with both ISO 9001 and NTA 8809 standard for quality and safety management systems.

Adjusting to the new normal

As the Covid-19 pandemic emerged, creating the worst global health crisis of our time, the Hospital was, as all health care systems, confronted with an unprecedented situation in handling patients safely. The preventive measures taken by GHZ to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus included face mask requirements, limiting the number of people in waiting rooms, adjusted opening hours and even closing some of its Blood Collection Clinics to ensure a safer staff and patient environment.

Digital transformation for optimal care

To further reduce the strain on their healthcare GHZ also took action to respond to the new normal by exploring new ways to digitally redesign its practices to continue to provide optimal care for its patients. To do this safely and responsibly while adhering to social distancing guidelines and regulations, the hospital needed a solution that limited the amount of people inside and outside the hospital. Ensuring a streamlined, optimized, and contactless patient journey.

One of the hospital units that was most favorable of a digital transformation from the impact of Covid-19 was GHZ’s Blood Collection Clinic, one of the busiest areas of the hospital with hundreds of outpatient visits each week for blood draws. It made the Blood Collection Clinic a suitable choice for implementing appointment scheduling functionality for patients and staff.

Scalable and flexible platform

As a long-term client of Qmatic, GHZ was already using Qmatic’s Patient Journey Management platform, Qmatic Orchestra, when the Hospital decided to scale up their solution with added functionality for online appointment booking. By adding online booking capabilities to their patients, the Blood Collection Clinic could now provide more alternatives for patients that were reluctant to visit hospitals during the pandemic and enhance the patient experience before, during, and after their appointments.

Introducing online appointment booking

The implementation of Qmatic’s online appointment booking solution Qwebbook enabled the Blood Collection Clinic to evenly balance the patient flow throughout the day by allowing patients themselves book an appointment directly from their website. The solution eliminated the need for patients to congregate in a traditional waiting room setting to leave samples and makes it easier for management to plan the workload in advance and steer appointments to less busy hours. It makes it easy for GHZ to adjust how many people can book an appointment at certain hours of the day to better control the patient flow, eliminate crowds, and reduce visiting times.

Groene Hart Hospital online appointment booking

“The peak crowds are spread more evenly throughout the day. This is because half of our visits are now done by appointment and patients who have not made an appointment are increasingly encouraged to also try out appointment” states Wout van der Brom, Manager at the Blood Collection Clinic at Groene Hart Ziekenhuis. “We get statistics from Qmatic’s Business Intelligence on a daily basis to keep track of whether the adjustments directly affect our practice.”

Appointment booking with contactless check-ins

After successfully booking an appointment, confirmation and automated reminders are sent via email and SMS before the appointment. The confirmation includes helpful information about the patients upcoming lab appointments together with a QR-code.

Before in-person appointments at the clinic, the Hospital screens patients using a digital survey to identify possible COVID-19 symptoms. Once the patient arrives for their appointment, the appointment booking solution is leveraged to enable a contactless check-in process by scanning the QR code at Qmatic’s self-service kiosk that is located at the entrance, eliminating the need for patients to congregate in a traditional waiting room.

Qmatic Intro 17 self service kiosk

With contactless self check-in via Qmatic’s Intro 17 barcode scanner, enhanced patient information before appointments, and the ability to provide real-time instructions to patients in an environment in constant state of flux. The hospital can deliver a patient-centered experience that aligns with GHZ’s mission of having a patient-as-partner approach and successfully improve no-show rates and patient satisfaction.

Currently, the hospital has leveraged online booking for two of its blood collection clinics together with walk-in options, with the intention to expand its appointments to more blood collection clinics within the near future. “The more appointments that are made, the greater the spread of patients throughout the day, our aim is to increasingly encourage patients to come by appointment,” van der Brom concludes.

“We get statistics from Qmatic’s Business Intelligence on a daily basis to keep track of whether the adjustments directly affect our practice.”

Wout van der Brom, Manager, Blood Collection Clinic - Groene Hart Ziekenhuis

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