Improvement in outpatient services using the WeChat calling system in the Shanghai Children’s Hospital
Objectives: We explored the utility of WeChat applet as part of the Outpatient Department (OPD) to provide patients with timely queuing information and compared it with the traditional calling system.
Methods: Data for the WeChat calling system was extracted for the period of May 2018 to September 2018. Data for the traditional system was extracted for the same period from the year 2017. We compared the effective patient waiting time and nurse idle time i.e. nonproductive time spent on factors outside of employees’ control with the two systems. We also analyzed the relationship between the length of waiting time and conflicts between doctors and patients.
Results: The mean wait time for the traditional calling system was 126 minutes, while the average idle time for nurses was 96 minutes/day. On the other hand, the mean wait time for the WeChat calling system was 33 minutes, and the average idle time for nurses was 72 minutes/day. The incremental profit (cost of traditional calling system – cost of WeChat calling system) achieved from switching systems was 13,879 yuan/month. Behavioral observations showed that wait time (OR=2.745, 95%CI 1.936~3.892 P<0.0001) was a risk factor for staff-patient conflict.
Conclusion: The cost of the WeChat calling system was significantly lower than the traditional system. Also, the traditional calling system was time-consuming. Longer waiting time was the main factor affecting OPD quality and caused conflicts between doctors and patients.
How to cite this:
Wu D, Cui W, Wang X, Huo Y, Yu G, Chen J. Improvement in outpatient services using the WeChat calling system in the Shanghai Children’s Hospital. Pak J Med Sci. 2021;37(4):993-1000. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.37.4.4301
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.