Sometimes duplicate patient files are created at a practice for a number of reasons whether or not you have an online appointment system, these include:
- Patients have forgotten that they attended the practice before
- details provided don't match previous file on record at the practice
- Name changes (e.g. married name) or
- confusion of name structure, particularly common with foreign names or hyphenated names.
- The patient may have been marked as 'Inactive' on the practice management system
The Department of Human Services (Medicare) stipulates that the correct formatting for hyphenated names is no space between the name and the hyphen, e.g. Mary-Jane not Mary - Jane.
At Appointuit we encourage best practice in recording patient data, that is to record the patient name exactly as it appears on their Medicare Card, other Medical Insurance or official identification such as a passport. NOTE: student IDs do not always display the official name.
With all online appointment systems, the electronic system is trying to match exactly the patient entered data with the data on your practice management system.
When this does not match, it prompts the patient to check the information.
Specific process with Appointuit
When a patient registers, the system tries to identify and cross match on the following criteria.
- First name
- Last name
- Date of Birth
(This complies with RACGP Standard 3.1.4 of Approved Patient Identifiers)
Sometimes we see duplicate patient records appearing in BP and this may be a result of a an existing patient of the practice registering as a new patient to use the online appointment system. This could be for any number of the reasons stated above.
An error message will appear depending on the device the patient is using (Desktop via the practice website or mobile phone app.
Patients are guided to go back one step and register as an existing patient.
If a patient attempts to register as a new patient, but we find a match of an existing patient record, the mobile app will prompt them to go back and register as an existing app, while the widget will automatically direct them to the existing patient flow and pre-fill their previously entered information.
Practice support and quick path to resolution
If /when a patient advises the practice that they could not register. We recommend the practice reports this to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following important details:
- Patients full name
- Date of Birth
- Active status in practice PMS
- patient email address
Practice staff can either email email@example.com directly or from the 'Support' tab from your Appointuit Admin page.
We can usually resolve these minor issues promptly with the appropriate information provided.