Abstract

Scheduling e-appointment systems in primary health care (PHC) are a regular practice in other western countries; however, there is no indication of implementing such a system in R.N. Macedonia and other countries in development. The focus is to investigate the satisfaction of medical providers (MP) in PHC in regards to the current set-up first come–first served (FC-FS) principle, and their viewpoints on implementing e-appointment system at primary care physicians (EASPCP) as a combination of services. Additionally, MP shared their views on the significance of using EASPCP in critical times like the global pandemic with Covid-19. Three hundred and sixty-three (363) MP were surveyed to meet the study’s goals. Cross-tabulation between variables to look for any significant correlation was done. To test the correlation and to measure the effect size, Chi-Square and Phi and Cramer’s V were used, respectively. The majority of participants were dissatisfied with the FC-FS principle in PHC, and were inclined to implement EASPCP. The participants reacted positively to the system's advantages, such as time-saving, reduce crowding and waiting time, assuring free time slots, and eases patient follow-ups. The main worries were the increased number of no-shows and patient lateness. Furthermore, the participants acknowledge the benefits of an e-appointment system in the battle against the spreading of Covid-19. The participants supported the proposal of introducing EASPCP as a combination of services to the currently established FC-FS principle, however further research is required for real-time usage of such a system in PHC.

Keywords

Patient Appointments, eHealth, Primary Healthcare, COVID (Coronavirus Disease) -19 Pandemic, Information Systems, Satisfaction