UG Broka | Frequently Asked Questions

General/functionality

Q: What is a referral protocol? Who makes referral protocols and how is that done?

A referral protocol or -path is a decision tree that starts always with one question. Depending on the answer provided another question is asked or an instruction or authorization (for referral) given. Hence, a referral protocol always contains at the minimum one question (e.g. for the referral protocol ‘RX thorax’ the question ‘are you sure that you want to refer the patient for an RX thorax’), but can also be composed of dozens of questions (e.g. referral protocol ‘medical imaging’ guides the referring GP to the ‘correct’ CT exam for his patient). Referral protocols are made directly in UG Broka by every individual department or clinic, or indeed by a consultant who does it for them. A half day training is recommended.

Q: Who has access to which referral protocols?

That also is defined by the clinic or department. The department of cardiology for example may define a referral protocol for GP’s that leads to a consultation or a stress test, whereas another protocol for referring cardio specialists from the region might also lead to an angiography.

Q: Can a referring doctor –apart from the completed referral protocol- also pass on other information?

Per appointment type, so-called questions and answers can be defined that may/must be answered. The answer can take the form of a free text field but it can also be predefined so that the GP has only to tick the relevant answer(s). Obviously information copied from the GP system can be pasted in the free text fields and passed on.

Q: Our physicians don’t want us to enable patients to make their own appointments online. What is your advice?

Their reaction is understandable –it’s a matter of change. We would advise you to start with online referrals only. These offer an instant benefit for your physicians (less overhead, the ‘right’ patient for the ‘right’ exam…) which will boost their confidence in the system. In a second phase it is important to explain to them that UG Broka does nothing more than applying rules that they themselves have under control. The most diverse parameters of an appointment can be very finely tuned in order to meet the specific requirements of the schedule owner (e.g. physician concerned).

Q: If I get it well, then a physician can refer the patient online after which the patient can book. But can physicians also make actual bookings on behalf of the patient?

Yes, they can. Instead of selecting ‘refer’, then they select ‘book appointment’. An appointment confirmation can be printed off and given to the patient.

Q: Can patients also cancel their appointments online?

That depends –this is also one of the many parameters. Even the minimum cancellation notice is configurable –to avoid that the patient cancels his 9:30 appointment at 9:00.

Q: How about patients that do not have access to Internet?

They still can convert their referral into an appointment via the telephone. The advantage in that case is that they will not need to state their name and reason of visit. By giving their code, the booking assistant will be able to retrieve all relevant information instantly, including the completed referral protocol, and book the appointment accordingly.

Q: I understand that patients receive their personal code from their GP’s immediately after online referral. But how about patients that are not referred but still need to be able to book directly?

They receive their code directly from the department or clinic concerned. As a matter of fact the code sits at any time ready in UltraGenda Pro and only requires printing. Obviously the department or clinic will need to specify which appointment types the patient may book, as well as their parameters. From an answer to one of the next questions you will also learn that in case an eID (or digID) system is in use the code becomes superfluous. The patient just logs on with his eID and will see the appointment types he is entitled to book.

Q: Can UG Broka be used for so called multi-resource appointments?

Sure, UG Broka supports single appointments as well as multi-resource appointments. In the latter case the appointment is made in more than one schedule at a time (for example: doctor and room).

Q: Will physicians that are employed by the hospital but that would like to book appointments for the patients from their private practice also use UG Broka?

Generally not. Security policy of the hospital permitting, they will use UltraGenda Pro directly.

Q: We often hear you talk about ‘the parameters of an appointment’. What exactly is meant?

Without going into detail (the 3-days training course deals with these matters in depth), parameters determine the answer to the question who can make which appointment, when and under which specific conditions? One example: patient x is authorized to make a direct booking for one single renal dialysis but only on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, at the earliest for the next day and on condition that he/she does not have other ‘open’ appointments for dialysis.

Implementation

Q: Recently I heard someone talk about the WWW of Broka. What exactly is meant?

In that discussion, WWW stood for Win-Win-Win. Indeed, with UG Broka each of the participants in the process plays its familiar role, albeit in a far more modern and efficient way. No one is penalized for someone else’s benefits. All actors win –that is why we sometimes use WWW.

Q: What are the benefits for the hospital?

Efficiency in the first place. Every referral, every appointment booked online is an economy of resources that can better be used for the core mission of the hospital, i.e. patient care. Also, the quality of the online process is higher. Referral criteria for example can be perfectly enforced, thus leading the GP to the ‘correct’ appointment type for his patient, based on objective criteria. Finally, there is the revolution in terms of service. By making these routine processes available online on a 24/7 basis, hospitals at last adopt business practices worthy of modern, efficient and customer-friendly service organizations in the 21st century.

Q: I am a GP and like to refer to different hospitals depending on the pathology of the patient and other circumstances. How will this work out for me?

That depends essentially on the cooperation within the region. UG Broka is integrated in ‘a’ portal. If this is the portal of one single hospital or hospital group then the online referrals and appointments will obviously be restricted to that hospital (or group). However, should the health region have its own portal, then choice can be offered.
We may also work with partners in that area. In the Netherlands for example the registration- and referral track is handled by our partner Zorgdomein, and UG Broka serves only to pass on the referral to UG Pro and/or to book the appointment online.

Q: If I have referred a patient online, how can I know whether that patient has actually booked the appointment?

Every referral you made appears on your dashboard under the header ‘open referrals’. As soon as a referral is converted into an appointment –irrespectively of whether this happened via phone or online- that referral will disappear from your list of open referrals.

Q: I make my appointments by phone but as I need to make regular visits to the hospital I’d like to check the dates via the Internet. Is that possible?

Certainly, on condition that you have received your unique code (or that you use your electronic identity card). You can then see all open appointments with corresponding instructions, including those appointments that have not been made online.

Q: Can my GP book appointments online on my behalf?

Certainly, your GP can convert his referral directly and online into an appointment.

Technology

Q: How do identification and authentication work?

UG Broka is a portal application that is integrated in an existing portal (hospital, hospital group, region, …). In the ideal case, access regulation and protection of UG Broka are handled by that portal. Hence, the customer himself will determine how referring physicians and patients log on (tokens, certificates, passwords, smart cards, …). In some cases UG Broka is integrated with electronic identity card management systems (eID, DigiD).

Q: Can a patient change his code?

Very often the code is not used as means of identification and authentication and is therefore irrelevant. This is the case when use is made of strong authentication (for example: via a token or eID card). When an appointment is booked by telephone on the basis of a previous referral by a GP it may be helpful to have the code of the referral at hand as it will indeed make the communication between the patient and the booking assistant easier (patient doesn’t need to spell his name).

Q: Which browser does UG Broka support?

Provided they are granted access both referring doctors and patients can access UG Broka from any platform and any browser.

Secondary links (English)

UltraGenda

A DXC COMPANY
Meersstraat 174
9070 Destelbergen
Belgium

Phone - Main
+32 9 326 30 30

Phone - Support
+32 9 326 30 20