N.B. news: Self-booking X-ray appointments now available through Horizon Health

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Whether you are in the far southwest corner of the province in St. Stephen, N.B., or on the north shores in Miramichi, N.B., booking an X-ray has never been easier.


Horizon Health Network is now offering self-booking for the service at all of its hospitals in New Brunswick.


“Patients have really been adapting to this,” says Zach Kilburn, Horizon’s interim vice president of Professional Services. “And really enjoying this access and the ability to schedule their own appointments.”


What started as a pilot program in Saint John on Dec. 11, 2023 took just three months to roll out province wide. With a referral, patients can visit Horizon’s website and pick where and when they would like to book their X-ray, with the whole process taking no more than a minute. The initiative was undertaken after it was recommended in the province’s health plan.


Appointments will be available Monday to Friday within the hours of operation of the selected hospital.


Kilburn says the new system has free up health care staff who can now focus their attention elsewhere.


“The ability for us to have some of this streamlined and allow our team to focus maybe more on MRI and CT and ultrasound to get those patients booked in a more timely manner is great,” says Kilburn. “It’s helping us across the whole entire system.”


Over 12,000 New Brunswickers have used the service since it started according to Kilburn, with the option still available to book over the phone for those without internet access. He says 70 per cent of bookings since December have been through the online portal.


The health network has also received over 1,600 patient satisfaction surveys on the new process, with Kilburn saying 94 per cent of respondents have found the program seamless and would recommend it to others.


President of the New Brunswick Medical Society Dr. Paula Keating says they are pleased to see the online booking format finally roll out across the province. She says anytime patients can be more involved in their healthcare is a benefit, and believes this system will reduce no-show appointments.


“Patients are booked three or four weeks down the road and they forget it and it’s not marked on the calendar,” says Dr. Keating. “So, fitting around their schedule and at their convenience should reduce wait times overall, which is a huge benefit to the system.”


Kilburn says the next focus for the health network will be on a self-booking tool for bloodwork, which patients have asked for, with the company exploring all sectors that could benefit from similar programs.


For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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