AHN Launches Online Self-Scheduling for Primary Care and Select Specialty Appointments

Allegheny Health Network partners with DocASAP on new booking technology

PITTSBURGH, September 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Allegheny Health Network (AHN) patients now have a new option to self-schedule a doctor’s appointment, booking online, directly from their computer or smartphone, by just a few minutes.

AHN is now one of the few major health systems in the country to offer self-scheduling for primary and specialty services. According to HealthLeaders magazine, about 88% of health systems consider patient self-planning a priority for access and investment, but only about 3% currently have this capability – and only a few actually act on these. plans, the magazine reported in July 2022.

“At AHN, we know that exceptional care isn’t just about delivering exceptional medicines – it’s about removing barriers to care and providing better access and an easier experience for our patients,” said Deborah Duffy, Senior Vice President, Virtual Health and Access for AHN. “Online self-scheduling takes a lot of the hassle out of booking a doctor’s appointment.”

In other words, less time on the phone with call centers or reception desks.

When patients visit the AHN.org “Find Care” portal (findcare.ahn.org) and search for a primary care provider or specialist, the search will return a list of providers. Many of these supplier bios now feature a “book an appointment” button next to the supplier’s name.

By clicking the “book an appointment” button, patients will be redirected to the provider’s online scheduling tool, which shows the provider’s short-term availability and next available appointment.

From there, the online booking tool directs patients to a decision tree and asks them a series of questions (reason for visit, date of birth and a few others related to insurance coverage) then asks them select an available appointment window. Finally, the tool asks the patient to confirm the appointment.

The technology interacts seamlessly with AHN’s MyChart patient portal. Once the appointment is confirmed via the “Find Care” tool, the patient receives an immediate MyChart notification.

“Patients tell us they want more autonomy and more tools like these,” Duffy said. “As a network, we are committed to providing user-friendly technologies that enable patients to access healthcare on their own terms.”

Caregivers are excited about AHN’s new self-scheduling option. Historically, medical practices have resisted relinquishing control of their appointment books, but at AHN, practices have collaborated with network access and IT teams every step of the way, on this initiative and on other access improvement initiatives.

“Our physicians understand that providing world-class medicines is only part of the care equation,” said Donald Merlan, MD, AHN Chief Medical Officer. “Ensuring convenient access to our providers makes it easier for patients to take advantage of the many medical services we offer. Our new self-planning technology is a game-changer for patients and caregivers.

AHN has partnered with DocASAP, a leading patient access and engagement platform, to implement the new self-scheduling system. DocASAP, part of Optum, which serves a variety of health systems and health plans nationwide, is based in Virginia.

To date, more than 2,000 patients have successfully self-scheduled their own AHN doctor appointments using the new option, which launched this summer. Currently, patients can self-schedule primary care, orthopedic, and OB/GYN appointments. Other specialties, including cardiology, will be added soon.

“As an industry, we need to meet people where they are — and increasingly they’re online,” Duffy said. “This is a breakthrough in truly patient-centric access, and it has the potential to significantly improve health and well-being.”

Patients can also continue to request appointments via email through their MyChart app or by calling 412-DOCTORS at Pittsburgh (814-CONNECT in the Erie Region).


About Allegheny Health Network:

Allegheny Health Network (AHN.org) is an integrated health care delivery system serving the largest Western Pennsylvania Region. The network is made up of 14 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, Health + Wellness pavilions, an organization of salaried doctors, home and community health services, a research institute and a group purchases. The network provides patients with access to a full range of advanced medical services, including nationally recognized programs for primary and emergency care, trauma care, cardiovascular disease, organ transplantation, cancer care, orthopedic surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, women’s health, diabetes, autoimmune disease and more. AHN employs approximately 21,000 people, has more than 2,600 physicians on its medical staff, and serves as the clinical campus for Drexel University College of Medicine and the Lake Erie College of osteopathic medicine.

About Optum:

Optum is a leading information and technology-based healthcare services company dedicated to making healthcare work better for everyone. With more than 210,000 people worldwide, Optum provides smart, integrated solutions that help modernize the healthcare system and improve the overall health of the population. Optum is part of the UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: A H). For more information, visit www.optum.com.

Allegheny Health Network

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