The new Netcare app puts patients at the heart of healthcare.
In a technological first for South African hospital groups, the recently launched Netcare app provides instant digital access, empowering users to manage their healthcare while helping them overcome the challenges and complexities many people experience when seeking medical care.
Dr Richard Friedland, chief executive officer of Netcare, notes that the first release of the Netcare app enhances the patient journey from the palm of the hand, further supporting the Group as it moves away from episodic and siloed care towards an engaged person centred patient experience.
The Netcare app includes features such as enhanced emergency response capabilities, digital medical record management and streamlined hospital admission processes.
One of the primary features developed on the app is a contact button for Netcare 911, which includes a 60-second call back option while enabling 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 allows for even faster response times in cases where the caller cannot give their precise location. At the same time, users can track how long it will take for help to arrive at the scene – a feature that provides greater peace of mind in what is inevitably a stressful time.
Sonja Winter, chief marketing and communications officer at Netcare notes that the 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 record summarising the emergency care received, which patients can view on the Netcare app anytime they wish to. This is the just the beginning of our efforts to provide patients with more integrated and lasting access to information, with the Netcare app becoming a central repository of their medical records across other divisions in the Group.
“Furthermore, the app – which is integrated with doctors’ schedules in our primary care division – provides a new level of convenience for users wishing to make an appointment with a nearby healthcare practitioner, or 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 interact with Netcare Appointmed via the app, for assistance in finding the most appropriate healthcare provider to address their concern.”
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.
Upon arriving at a Netcare hospital or Netcare Medicross day theatre, patients need to simply visit the online admissions desk and present their digital admission card on the app for a faster and entirely paperless process.
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.
“We firmly believe 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 heart of your overall healthcare experience. Empowering you to participate in your care is therefore imperative and now more achievable than ever with the instant digital access this app provides,” concluded Dr Friedland.