Online appointment system reduces waiting period in AIIMS, but leaves out some patients

The Online Registration System (ORS), a web portal launched as part of PM's Digital India initiative, has seen over 46,000 online bookings since May.

Written by Pritha Chatterjee | New Delhi | Published:August 29, 2015 1:40 am
AIIMS, AIIMS, online appointment, online appointment, doctor appointment, ORS, ENT, delhi news, indian express Over 39,000 patients have sought appointments at AIIMS through the Online Registration System, a web portal launched by the Centre. (Archive)

Rajwati, who runs a boutique in east Delhi, needed help to get an appointment in AIIMS for her four-year-old daughter, who had been suffering from fever. One of her acquaintances directed her to the online appointment system.

“I sought the appointment on August 24 in the paediatrics department and got it the very next day. I never believed an online appointment system could be effective in a place like AIIMS,” said Rajwati.

The Online Registration System (ORS), a web portal launched by the Ministry of Information and Technology as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative, has seen over 46,000 online bookings since May in the five hospitals that are currently registered with it. The majority of patients — as many as 39,000 — have sought appointments in AIIMS.

Share This Article
Share
Related Article

On Friday, of around 400 appointments made till 9 pm on the portal, 308 were for AIIMS. Among other hospitals in Delhi, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital has booked 3,000 appointments since the portal was launched. Most appointments are for doctors specialising in ENT, orthopaedics and cardiology.

In the Sports Injury Centre, the only unit of Safdarjung hospital on the portal, close to 1,300 online appointments have been made, a majority of them in arthroscopy and joint disorders. Among hospitals outside Delhi, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (NIMHANS) in Bangalore saw 2,791 online appointments, and the Agartala Government Medical College in Tripura had 76 online appointments.

The computerised appointment system at AIIMS was a pilot project launched by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) last year, and, according to experts, patients have had the time to “warm up” to the online system.

“We have managed to reduce the waiting time for online appointments to the next day for all departments, except three. For ENT, which once had a six-month waiting period, the waiting period has now been reduced to a month,” said Dr Deepak Agrawal, in-charge of IT activities at AIIMS.

At AIIMS, the departments of medicine, orthopaedics and the R P Centre for Opthalmology and Neurology have witnessed the highest number of appointments, according to real-time data from the portal since its inception on May 7.

AIIMS had initially reserved a certain number of patient slots in the Outpatient Department (OPD) for online appointments, but now all OPD bookings have been opened up for online appointments. To encourage patients to come with a prior appointment, even walk-in patients who queued up for OPD appointments are given appointments via the online system, said Dr Agrawal.

“People who come with appointments spend less than two hours at the hospital. Those without prior appointments have to wait 4-5 hours and some of them may even get appointments on following days. That’s how we are encouraging patients to take online appointments,” said Dr Agrawal.

While Rajwati had to wait less than three hours to see a doctor, many other patients who come without prior appointments had to go back disappointed. “I came at 7 am from Aligarh to get an appointment for my father’s kidney problem, but all slots were filled. I had to stand in a queue to get an appointment even though I was one of the earliest to arrive,” said Irfan, a rickshaw puller.

“I did not know AIIMS had a system of online appointments. I cannot read or write, how will I get appointments online? I am worried because they are saying ‘if you do not come with an appointment, whenever you come, you will be given an appointment for a later day’,” he said.

When asked about this, Dr Agrawal admitted that AIIMS is yet to conduct a study on the socio-economic and educational profile of patients who are availing online appointments. “We usually try not to refuse poor, walk-in patients, and our staff helps them get appointments through the online system. Going by the high number of bookings, a wide range of patients are coming to us. This computerised system is the only way to manage patients better,” he explained.

However, on an average, nearly 50 per cent of those who make an online appointment never turn up.

For all the latest Cities News, download Indian Express App

  1. D
    Dinesh Tomar
    Jun 11, 2017 at 10:59 pm
    Abdominl pain and bleeding in stool
    Reply
    1. R
      Rahul Patel
      May 31, 2017 at 11:14 am
      Hello Sir Hame apne aunty ghutno ka elaj karana hai
      Reply
      1. A
        anchal
        May 27, 2017 at 5:12 pm
        ONLINE APPOINTMENT IS OF NO USE/.even when you book online appointment you ahve to get OPD card barcoded,stamped and than waii t. AIIMS IS A HOSPITAL U CAN NEVER UNDERSTAND..i have visited aiims many times for my fathers canacer treatment..have been through all conditions..although doctors of aiims are awesome. all senses but u have to really fight hard to reach them.although we took online appointments but still had to get it barcoded which takes 2-3 hrs,than stamped which consumes another 3-4 hrs..n than finally wait 2-3 hrs infront of OPd. one lucky day we got our opd card stamped first and when we reached infront of opd there were already 30 patients..till today we never understood from where these patients came. no one teels the right procedure to take appointment...if anyone knows please please confirm me the correct procedure if i m missing something.. or else would request aiims to please remove this online appointment system as its of no use...
        Reply
        1. S
          Shaury
          May 26, 2017 at 12:22 pm
          i want to know that even after online appointment do i have to wait in long queue as my g father case is serious.
          Reply
          1. V
            vinay pratap singh
            Apr 29, 2017 at 12:35 pm
            i want to know about sujata who is a patient in your hospital about her prob . my no. is 7607575514
            Reply
            1. P
              praveen kumar
              Apr 26, 2017 at 8:36 am
              Sir Namaskar. .Mary beti ke Right hand mai aaj 10year se mansbirdhy yani ganth type ka nikal gye h.. Mujhe aaccha h de
              Reply
              1. A
                anshita gour
                Apr 25, 2017 at 9:34 pm
                o Sir / madam we have requested to all of u my mother in law have some interesting pert beedi touligret have some reqwecf we have somber lectiona leg and hand also we have no proven around that having long time around 5 years to having letting say havestill proliferating . Thank you for all my account interspredinction say having not a our tin as per as with 5 to 6 day we have longer time for my side Thaks....
                Reply
                1. K
                  Kalpana sirohi
                  Apr 25, 2017 at 3:40 pm
                  Skin specialist
                  Reply
                  1. Load More Comments