LISBON’S SANTA Maria Hospital recently launched an electronic hospital appointment system, which means that doctors at health centres can now book appointments at the hospital via computer, and patients can be notified of their appointment via text messages to their mobile phones.
The idea was announced a week after the government launched its initiative to encourage electronic appointments as part of its overall technology plan. The measure itself left the Minister of State for Health, António Correia de Campos, surprised. “I wasn’t expecting it so quickly. I only knew about it three days ago,” he said.
Alberto Campos Fernandes, president of the hospital’s Board of Directors, said that the system would initially cover 18 clinical specialisations.
By the end of the year, 360,000 patients in the Greater Lisbon area will have their hospital referrals sent electronically.