Zulekha Healthcare Group’s practitioners are now bookable on the website and the iPhone and Android mobile apps of okadoc.com, the GCC’s first online appointment booking platform instantly and seamlessly connecting patients with healthcare providers and doctors.
The partnership has introduced a number of operational efficiencies and has improved visibility of Zulekha’s three UAE multidisciplinary hospitals in Dubai and Sharjah, while making its doctors and services easily accessible for the 550,000 patients seeking treatment annually at the group’s medical facilities.
Taher Shams, Managing Director, Zulekha Healthcare Group, said: “Our motto of easy accessibility of our medical services to our patrons has been supported rightly with the introduction of Okadoc’s platform to us. This has enabled patient-centric care as everyone today needs everything on their fingertips and we are able to give them what is desired. We’ve seen a significant drop in the no-show rates as a result of the Okadoc’s system efficiencies that work on reconnecting us with the patients. As we witness a global revolution in the healthcare sector, Zulekha Healthcare Group and Okadoc are positively leading the digital transformation of the region’s healthcare industry.”
The group is one of the 150 trusted healthcare facilities currently on Okadoc.com, which includes, Emirates Specialty Hospital and other Dubai Health Care City (DHCC) hospitals and clinics, following the partnership announced at Arab Health earlier this year. The healthtech startup is targeting a market penetration of at least 30 per cent in the UAE by 2022.
Okadoc’s customer-centric platform significantly improves the way healthcare providers interact with their patients.
Using their smart phone or laptop, UAE residents or medical tourists can find the right doctor for them based on specialty, location, availability, language spoken, insurance policy, and instantly make a confirmed booking in 40 seconds, reschedule in 10 seconds or cancel in 5 seconds.
Okadoc’s well-designed, frequent multi-channel reminders system, and its rescheduling, cancellation and earlier availability request options, will help reduce the number of people who fail to show up for their doctors’ appointments at Zulekha hospitals and clinics by at least 75%. The service will help the group’s doctors increase revenues through reduction of no shows, attracting existing and new patients and optimization of bookings.
“Missed appointments or no-shows are a big problem in the UAE; about 37 per cent of people don’t show up, compared to around 20 per cent of patients in the US. This disturbs operations of the healthcare providers and represents a significant opportunity cost for them,” said Fodhil Benturquia, Founder & CEO, Okadoc. “Healthcare providers using traditional booking systems usually resort to overbooking practices that are ineffective and increase waiting time for patients.”
According to Okadoc’s research, 50 per cent of patients in the UAE miss appointments because they ‘forget’; 40 per cent of patients had tried to reschedule their appointment but couldn’t due to long waiting times or out of hours; and just 10 per cent of people said they ‘didn’t care’ about not turning up.
The fully automated platform requires no human intervention offering a radical new way of making instant doctor appointment bookings and will reduce the number of unnecessary calls at Zulekha Hospital’s call centre.
Benturquia explains: “Patients usually have to dial a call centre number in order to book a doctor’s appointment, but slow response and long waiting is usually the case until the availability of the practitioner is checked and confirmed. Furthermore, call centres do not operate after working hours or during weekends and public holidays, reducing the accessibility of healthcare facilities.”
Furthermore, as many patients attempt to make appointments in the evening or during the weekend, Okadoc’s 24/7 availability makes Zulekha Hospital’s medical facilities always accessible for appointments as mandated in the Fifty-Year Charter of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Besides the operational advantages, Zulekha Hospital as a brand and its practitioners benefit through enhanced visibility of their profiles and seamless access to their services on Okadoc’s UAE platform which receives more than 400,000 visits per month. Currently the number of visits grows by 25% on a month by month basis.
In addition to bringing together two leading players in the UAE’s healthcare sector, this partnership is distinguished by the complete integration of Okadoc’s truly interoperable solution with the digital platform developed in-house by Zulekha Group for its medical facilities.
“Together with our partners, we are changing the status quo by redefining the ways in which patients connect with their healthcare providers by infusing technology in the overall discovery and bookings process,” said Pranav Sharma, Director Operations, Okadoc.
More than 200 of Zulekha Group’s UAE-based doctors are currently instantly bookable on Okadoc.com.
Benturquia said: “We share the same vision, passion and entrepreneurial spirit with Zulekha Group’s Founder and Chairperson Dr Zulekha Daud and her teams, and we together want to contribute to one of the seven sectors in the UAE’s Innovation Strategy.”