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"BookHA" mobile app to cover obstetrics and paediatrics
The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The mobile application "BookHA", launched by the Hospital Authority (HA) in 2016 to provide Specialist Outpatient Clinic (SOPC) new case booking services, will be further extended to cover two more specialties, namely obstetrics (antenatal) and paediatrics. A new notification function for appointment rescheduling and connection to "HApi Journey" are also being added to the app for the convenience of patients.

     The HA spokesperson today (January 22) said that, starting from tomorrow (January 23), patients can make SOPC new case booking in gynaecology; ear, nose and throat; eye; neurosurgery; orthopaedics and traumatology; medicine; surgery; cardiothoracic surgery; and obstetrics and paediatrics through "BookHA" anywhere and at any time, instead of going to the clinics in person or sending in applications by facsimile. Following the rollout, "BookHA" will cover major specialties.

     Patients who are unable to attend SOPC appointments booked earlier via the app may contact related clinics to reschedule their appointments. The new notification function will notify patients by pop-up message right after rescheduling.

     For obstetric service, expectant mothers are required to provide a doctor's referral letter indicating the first day of the last menstrual period or the estimated date of confinement when making an appointment. More than one antenatal appointment may be arranged depending on individual conditions and in such a case, the applicant will receive separate notifications on booked appointments. Upon completion of the booking, a pop-up message will remind expectant mothers to download "HApi Journey", which is another HA app containing information about obstetrics and gynaecology to assist expectant mothers to record and monitor their health conditions during pregnancy.

     "More than 170 000 app downloads have been recorded since the launch of 'BookHA' in March 2016. Appointments have been arranged for over 50 000 patients out of some 70 000 applications. The operation for SOPCs to triage and process the requests has been smooth so far. While the HA earlier pledged to notify patients of stable cases within 21 days, it is now able to arrange appointments within 14 days, followed by telephone text message notification on the following day. This has largely shortened the time awaiting notification of appointment," the spokesperson remarked.

     The spokesperson reminded patients that referral letters within three months of issue from local registered doctors are required for making new case booking at public SOPCs. Most referral letters issued by the HA carry a 2D barcode which can be scanned with the built-in function of the app, saving time on photo-taking and uploading images of referral letters page by page.

     Patients who have booked an SOPC appointment through the app will receive a pop-up reminder of the appointment with a registered smartphone. Patients who no longer need to attend a scheduled appointment booked earlier via the app can make use of the "Booking Cancellation" function to cancel the appointment instead of calling the clinic.

     "BookHA" can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple App Store (supporting iOS version 7.0 or above) or Google Play (supporting Android version 4.1 or above) and it is available in traditional Chinese and English.
Ends/Monday, January 22, 2018
Issued at HKT 11:36
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