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Published Tuesday 1 Aug 2017

Booking a hospital appointment just got a whole lot easier thanks to Hutt Valley DHB’s unique ‘ubook’ online booking portal. Hutt Valley is the only DHB in New Zealand to offer an online booking system for patients.

While the portal has been available since 2012 for limited specialist appointments, it has been re-launched for almost all hospital outpatient appointments, with vastly improved functions.

Hutt Valley DHB CEO Ashley Bloomfield says ubook is all about valuing patients’ time - giving them the flexibility to choose appointments that work around their lives and commitments.

"Online booking is common for everything from getting your haircut to going overseas – we live in an increasingly digital world. An online booking system means our patients are more in control of when they come to see us, plus it avoids unnecessary letters and paperwork.

"One of the clever things about the new ubook enhancements is a multiple booking function. Patients who require multiple tests as part of their appointment will have these automatically booked as close together as possible – and will only receive one notification.

"Previously these patients would receive several different appointment letters in the post and may have needed to make several trips to the hospital.

"Patients will also be able to update their contact details online, meaning our database will be more up-to-date and our admin staff will have more time for other work.

"Putting the control into the hands of patients also dramatically reduces the number of missed appointments and no-shows. These cost us huge amounts of money and wasted time each year, so increasing the percentage of patients who turn up to their appointment is a positive in many ways."

"As far as we know, we’re the only DHB in the country to offer this online service. We’re a small DHB but initiatives like this show our commitment to innovation – and to improving the experience of our patients and community."

ubook is accessed from the homepage of the Hutt Valley DHB website.