“Online Appointment Booking is an excellent option for many patients and caregivers to independently schedule an appointment that meets their availability.”Dr. Neil Naik, Family Physician, KW4 Ontario Health Team
As part of the province’s Digital First for Health strategy, Ontario Health, in consultation with the Ministry of Health, health care providers, patients, and others, has developed a provincial standard and user resources to support the implementation of online appointment booking for primary care providers in Ontario. Online appointment booking is recommended by Ontario Health, as it is convenient and beneficial for both providers and patients.
What is Online Appointment Booking?
Online appointment booking solutions enable patients to book in-person, video, or telephone appointments electronically, by choosing a date and time and receiving an automated appointment confirmation, all in a self-serve environment available 24/7.
In addition to booking appointments, online appointment booking solutions also offer other beneficial features like automated e-mail, text message and voice reminders.
Benefits for providers:
- Safe, secure, solutions that protect patient privacy
- Improved administration capacity
- Increased efficiency
- Data availability
- Digital health record integration
- Reduced no-show rates
- Fewer scheduling gaps
Benefits of online appointment booking for Ontarians include:
- Convenient, 24/7 access to booking options
- Automated appointment confirmation and reminders, with appointment details
- Fewer or no phone calls required
- Ease of integrating appointments into personal electronic calendars
- Ability to self-book appointments for patients with hearing impairment
- Designated caregivers can access and book appointments for the people they care for
Funding for online appointment booking
We welcome submissions from Indigenous health care organizations, including those serving First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Urban Indigenous persons, Ontario Health Teams and other eligible health care organizations.
Interested organizations should discuss this funding opportunity with their region who will help identify initiatives that best meet the funding criteria and align with regional priorities.
The objectives of this funding are to:
- strengthen existing primary care networks within Ontario Health Teams.
- improve the patient experience by enabling more Ontarians to book an online appointment with their primary care team.
- support timely access to care and improve office efficiency within an integrated care environment.
Ontario Health Provincial Standard
The Online Appointment Booking service standard outlines mandatory and recommended functional and non-functional requirements for digital solutions used by health care organizations and providers to support patient-initiated online appointment booking. The requirements of the standard do not attempt to define requirements for every function of online appointment booking solutions.
The standard is recommended for use by Ontario Health Teams, health care providers, health care organizations, and vendors to assist with the procurement process, ensuring that the technology selected meets the minimum mandatory requirements outlined in the standard.
View the Online Appointment Booking Standard.