Providing care while keeping patients and staff safe
Mediclinic was met with new challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Regulatory requirements meant that every person entering their facilities had to be screened. Furthermore, the screening that had to be done differed for health care workers, patients and *visitors.
The screening of visitors proved to be the biggest challenge, as it was difficult to communicate with them in advance and implement a solution that would still meet regulatory requirements and streamline access into the hospitals.
Screening was initially performed manually using paper-based forms but this was a slow process that resulted in bottlenecks at the entrances, and required additional staff to monitor.
The problem was amplified when more visitors were allowed back into the hospitals. More than 15,000 people visit patients and doctors’ consulting rooms a day.
It was clear that an electronic solution was required that would reduce the administrative process, streamline the access and still ensure that the necessary checks are performed to ensure a safe environment.
*Visitors include people attending appointments at medical specialists who have their consulting rooms at Mediclinic facilities.
Automating COVID-19 screening with WhatsApp and Microsoft Bot framework
Mediclinic wanted a solution that the public are familiar with and comfortable using. WhatsApp, the chat app with billions of downloads worldwide, presented itself as the obvious choice.
To solve automation, Mediclinic turned to Microsoft Azure Bot framework. Mediclinic is already familiar with the Microsoft Azure environment and the Azure Bot can be used across multiple channels.
Mediclinic brought in partners Infobip to enable the integration of WhatsApp with the MS Bot Framework. Infobip’s expert presales teams helped set everything up to enable the integration and Mediclinic used internal resources to configure the Azure environment and develop the Bot.
Faster screening for safer hospitals, patients, visitors and staff
Between 25-30% of Mediclinic visitors are using the bot for COVID-19 screening. This massively reduced bottlenecks while simultaneously improving safety for everyone – healthcare workers, patients and their visitors.
Not stopping there, Mediclinic will look to advance these solutions to provide even better hospital experiences across other innovative use cases.
Thanks to Infobip and Microsoft, we managed to streamline COVID-19 screenings. This reinforced our determination to support our clients and make their hospital stay as comfortable as possible. Microsoft Bot powered by WhatsApp and Infobip helped us migrate almost a third of COVID-19 screenings to a digital channel, making the process quicker – and safer.
Mediclinic is a diversified international private healthcare services group, established in South Africa in 1983, with divisions in Switzerland, Southern Africa (South Africa and Namibia) and the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”). The Group’s core purpose is to enhance the quality of life.
Its vision is to be the partner of choice that people trust for all their healthcare needs.
Mediclinic is focused on providing specialist-orientated, multi-disciplinary services across the continuum of care in such a way that the Group will be regarded as the most respected and trusted provider of healthcare services by patients, medical practitioners, funders and regulators of healthcare in each of its markets.
At 30 September 2020, Mediclinic comprised 76 hospitals, eight sub-acute and specialized hospitals, 17-day case clinics and 18 outpatient clinics. Hirslanden operated 17 hospitals and four-day case clinics in Switzerland with more than 1 900 inpatient beds; Mediclinic Southern Africa operations included 52 hospitals (three of which in Namibia), eight sub-acute and specialized hospitals and 11-day case clinics (four of which operated by Intercare) across South Africa, and more than 8 700 inpatient beds; and Mediclinic Middle East operated seven hospitals, two-day case clinics and 18 outpatient clinics with more than 900 inpatient beds in the UAE. In addition, under management contracts, Mediclinic Middle East operates one hospital in Abu Dhabi and will open a 200-bed hospital in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in mid-2022.