AN ONLINE QUEUING SYSTEM FOR MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS

Have you every waited a long time in your dentist’s waiting room ? I mean, a very very veeeery long time ?… Yes me too. To face this queuing and popular issue, some innovators created websites to make medical appointments become digital. 

It is for example the case of the online website and app (ranked 26th on the French Apple Store!) called « Doctolib ». In five years, the number of employees of this company went up to more than 800, with a turnover around 100 million euros in 2019.

This new queuing system is changing the relationship between the doctors and their customers. The third person is not longer an assistant or a voice message but an online platform anytime and anywhere. It allows the medical to have more time dedicated to its pattens and thus to reduce the queuing time. Indeed, the waste of time related to dealing with appointments cancellation or delays are all managed by the platform. The SMS reminder sent shortly before the appointment also helps to regulate the delays or « holes » in the schedule. 

However, even if these online medical appointments platforms are radically changing the queuing system nowadays, some issues need to be underlined. First, not everyone is able to have access to these websites/app. For instance, older people might have an issue to create an account, understanding the process and thus booking an appointment. Then, what about the medical assistant who are afraid to lose their job? Indeed, the website Doctolib claims that the 65% of the assistant’s time can be saved.

To conclude, the online queuing system for medical appointments is revolutionizing the industry. It can help reducing queues but can it entirely delete it? We learnt that queues appear because there is variability either at the service, either at the arrival. It would be interesting to study the pain points of this new digital system and analyze its actual impact on the waiting time of the clients and doctors. Last but not least, Doctolib has recently launched a new service, more digital than ever : an online medical meeting. We may wonder the impact of this new trend on the queuing system of doctors and their customers.

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