PLO - The Danish Organization of General Practitioners
Your doctor’s office. The traditional waiting room.
A waiting room, where chairs are lined up against the walls in a silent acknowledgment of the inevitable wait. The air is heavy with the risk of contagion, the usual symphony of background music, coughs, and the restless whimpers of children. In these close quarters, the physical presence of each person is a silent reminder of potential health risks, especially in times of widespread illness.
A doctor, comfortably seated in front of a computer, logs into a web browser. They enter the virtual waiting room, a sanctuary from the physical constraints and health risks of a traditional clinic. Here, patients, safely ensconced in the comfort of their homes, wait their turn in a digital queue. This innovative approach not only eliminates the risk of contagion but also respects the busy rhythms of modern life.
With a simple click, the doctor begins a video consultation, connecting one-on-one with each patient in an efficient, secure, and personal manner. The virtual waiting room transforms the healthcare experience, marrying convenience with safety, a digital innovation tailored for our times.
In 2018, as part of a digitalization strategy presented by the Danish Health Data Authority, the My Doctor App was introduced to enhance the efficiency of healthcare professionals. This citizen-oriented app aims to provide more personalized treatments and digital communication options. These features are intended to free up time and increase availability for patients requiring more in-person healthcare interactions.
To achieve this objective, the strategy included the innovative concept of a virtual waiting room, an integrated part of the My Doctor App. The Virtual Waiting Room was designed to enhance the app by facilitating video consultations, thereby streamlining the process of doctor-patient interactions, fostering a more efficient and accessible healthcare experience.
The primary users of this solution are practicing doctors who can set up video consultations with citizens through the Virtual Waiting Room. It is the general practitioner who assesses whether the consultation should be conducted via video. The solution is a web-based front-end solution, meaning it is accessed through a web browser, not directly through the app.
When doctors log in through the clinic’s virtual waiting room, patients can check into the clinic’s queue using the My Doctor app. The doctor then starts the video consultation with each patient in turn from the virtual waiting room. The video consultations are facilitated through Trifork’s Video Client.
This feature is integrated not only in the My Doctor App but also in the Contact Doctor App. Moreover, the solution includes the option for doctors to send a direct message with a link to patients, providing them direct access to pre-arranged virtual consultations, catering to those who face technical barriers in using the My Doctor or Contact Doctor App.
The Virtual Waiting Room is developed by PLO, Medcom, PLSP, Duckwise and Trifork.
The solution is integrated into the VDX, a joint public and cross-sectorial video infrastructure. Medcom is responsible for the video infrastructure used in the Danish healthcare system, available to municipalities and regions.
Besides Medcom, a key collaborator in this project is PLSP, who is responsible for the data infrastructure ensuring citizens are correctly paired with their doctors for video consultations. Triforks role is handling the user interface of the waiting room and the Trifork Video Client used across various applications. Duckwise has contributed to the visual aspect of the solution, while Trifork has implemented these designs.
The development of the Virtual Waiting Room is driven by an agile methodology, fostering a cycle of continuous improvement based on feedback from our partners, doctors, citizens, and internal evaluations.
In our agile process and through close collaboration with all our partners, we ensure a superior user experience is maintained.
The Virtual Waiting Room is a testament to collaborative innovation, rapidly responding to the urgent need for digital healthcare solutions, particularly highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The onset of the pandemic accelerated the development, and within 2-3 weeks, functional solutions for web, Android, and iOS were developed and deployed to all doctors, meeting the high demand for virtual consultations.
Today, Trifork not only develops but also maintains and supports the solution, with a dedicated team handling immediate problem-solving and updates.