Digital engagement can significantly enhance person centred patient care, helping to overcome the challenges and complexities that so many people experience when seeking healthcare. The Netcare app will further support our digitally integrated person centred patient experience, as we as a group move from traditional siloed and episodic-led care to an ongoing engagement-led model of care.”
Speaking about the newly released Netcare mobile application, Dr Richard Friedland, chief executive officer of Netcare noted that digital development is the route to placing people at the centre of care, by integrating and streamlining processes in a way that has not yet been done by any South African hospital group.
The first release of the Netcare app, which launched today, is a development that provides users with a broad based feature set designed to enhance the patient journey and empower users in the management of their healthcare.
“We are of the firm belief that when it comes to your health, no decisions should be made about you, without you – in other words, you as the patient should be at the very heart of your overall healthcare experience. Empowering you to participate in your care is therefore imperative and now more achievable than ever before with the instant digital access that this app provides,” he said.
Broad based feature set
According to Sonja Winter, chief marketing and communications officer at Netcare, the Netcare app brings a new dimension to the healthcare journey and includes enhanced emergency response features, digital medical record management and streamlined hospital admission processes, to begin with.
“One of the primary features that was developed on the Netcare app is a contact button for Netcare 911, which also includes a 60-second call back option, and which allows the emergency medical response operator to immediately geolocate the exact position of the user without the need for any additional steps, such as text messages.
“This will allow for even faster response times in cases where users may not be able to give their precise location over the phone. The app also includes an ambulance tracker, providing regular updates on estimated time of arrival allowing greater peace of mind to the user in what is inevitably a stressful time,” she said.
Winter notes that key to an empowered patient journey is immediate access to consolidated medical records, which the app provides through the Summary of Care functionality.
“Netcare 911 is the first of our operations to provide a digital Summary of Care – a digital record summarising the emergency care they received – to our patients, which can be viewed on the Netcare app. Patients will be sent an SMS and/or email after receiving emergency medical care, prompting them to download the Netcare app free of charge, to view their Summary of Care anytime they wish to.
“This is the beginning of providing patients with more integrated and lasting informational access, with the Netcare app becoming the central repository of their medical records. This functionality will also extend across other divisions in the Group.
“The app furthermore provides interactive elements, enabling users to make an appointment with a healthcare provider, via the appointment booking feature. This provides a new level of convenience, as the app is integrated with doctors’ schedules in our primary care division.
“The app based booking system allows the user to view available slots and book to see a primary care practitioner via a secure platform that enables online consultation as well as digital medical certificates and prescriptions, at affordable set rates,” she explained.
“Those needing to book with a specialist can also interact with Netcare Appointmed via the app, for assistance in finding the most appropriate healthcare provider to address their concern.”
Winter notes that the Netcare hospital admissions process, which has been increasingly simplified in recent years, is now made all the more straightforward with the introduction of the app, which allows for quick and easy digital pre-admission, including uploading medical scheme information and identity documents. Users who have downloaded the app and obtained their Wi-Fi credentials during hospital admission will also have access to the dedicated free patient Wi-Fi.
“Upon arriving at a Netcare hospital or Netcare Medicross day theatre you need simply visit the online admissions desk and present your digital admission card on the app for a faster and entirely paperless process,” she said.
“And, in answer to the growing demand for a centralised healthcare experience, the app also enables patients to purchase gap cover from NetcarePlus, further increasing healthcare access and convenience, with more features like this to be added in time.”
Dr Friedland concluded by saying that the first release of the app immediately begins to enhance the patient journey across numerous aspects of the Netcare ecosystem. “The Netcare app is indicative of our continued commitment to meeting the healthcare needs of our patients and the people of South Africa through cutting edge, patient centric innovations. We are most excited about the benefits that it will offer users.
“We look forward to further developing the app in this constant evolution of a more nimble and integrated healthcare system. It is through such innovations that Netcare is able to provide the level of person centred care for which we are known, a responsibility we take most seriously as we chart new paths in South African healthcare,” he concluded.
The Netcare app is available across main device platforms, including IOS, Android and Huawei.
Notes to editor
Looking for a medical appointment? Netcare appointmed™ will make appointments for YOU with specialists practising at Netcare hospitals, GPs and dentists at Medicross medical and dental centres, and specialists at Akeso mental health facilities. Simply request an appointment online at www.netcare.co.za/Request-a-medical-appointment or phone Netcare appointmed™ on 0860 555 565, Mondays to Fridays between 08:00 and 17:00.
To find out more about the services offered through Netcare hospitals and other of the Group’s facilities, please visit www.netcare.co.za or contact the Netcare customer service centre either by email at [email protected] or phone 0860 NETCARE (0860 638 2273). Note that the centre operates Mondays to Fridays from 08:00 to 16:00.
For media enquiries, contact MNA at the contact details listed below.
Issued by: MNA on behalf of Netcare
For media enquiries contact: Martina Nicholson, Meggan Saville, Estene Lotriet-Vorster or Clementine Forsthofer
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