Hong Kong’s BookHA app extended to more specialties for case booking services

By | December 4, 2018

Yesterday, Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority (HA) announced that their mobile application, BookHA, which provides new case booking services for Specialist Outpatient Clinics (SOPC), would be extended to cover the Clinical Oncology and Anaesthesiology (Pain Clinic) specialties for the convenience of patients starting from 3 December 2018.

“From now on, patients can make SOPC new case bookings in Gynaecology; Ear, Nose and Throat; Eye; Neurosurgery; Orthopaedics and Traumatology; Medicine; Surgery; Cardiothoracic Surgery; Obstetrics; Paediatrics; Clinical Oncology; and Anaesthesiology (Pain Clinic) through BookHA anywhere, anytime, instead of going to the clinics in person or sending in applications by facsimile,” said the HA spokesperson.

Referral letters within three months of issue from local registered doctors are required for making new case booking at public SOPCs. Most referral letters issued by the HA carry a 2D barcode which can be scanned with the built-in function of the app, saving time on photo-taking and uploading images of referral letters page by page.

The spokesperson also added that as of October 2018, more than 330 000 app downloads have been recorded since the launch of BookHA in March 2016. Appointments have been arranged for over 120 000 patients among some 160 000 applications.

In general, consultation will be arranged at the earliest for patients triaged as urgent. Currently, the median waiting time is within two weeks. To further ensure that urgent patients receive notifications in time, the clinic will also notify the patient by telephone in addition to short message service (SMS) text message notification. Other patients who are triaged as stable will receive an SMS notification within 14 days.

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Patients who have booked an SOPC appointment through the app will receive a pop-up reminder of the appointment with the registered smartphone. If the patients no longer need to attend the scheduled appointment booked earlier via the app, they can make use of the “Booking Cancellation” function to cancel the appointment instead of calling the clinic.

The BookHA mobile application can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play and it is available in traditional Chinese and English.