Medical Therapy Planning and Appointment Scheduling

Description of a computer support for therapy planning and appointment scheduling for doctors in hospitals using SAP IS-H

The task to be solved is to be able to easily change and extend SAP-cases, appointments and clinical orders.

You might imagine the following situation:

  • The physician has a diagnosis/therapy plan for a patient – in SAP as a case, appointments and/or clinical orders – where the appointments are confirmed (see admission coordination).
  • In the patient consultation, the doctor would like to be able to change some appointments and orders or additionally create new ones. In particular, he wants to ensure that free slots are available in the medical facilities for the execution of these changed and new appointments.

ORSOFT is aware that this propagates the idea that doctors should take on tasks that they normally delegate. This request seems to be justified only if

  • diagnostic and therapeutic resources are so scarce that alternative diagnostic procedures and therapies must be chosen in case of unavailability;
  • the patients and their interests should be involved;
  • the process is simple and the additional effort for the physician is minimal.

An example process is described below:

1. The physician sees the current case, the appointments and clinical orders of the patient as a list (patient pathway), as he knows it from SAP IS-H or - more clearly - as a patient pathway view. The patient pathway view displays a bed allocation bar as well as small triangles below a time axis, each of which indicates the time of an appointment (or desired appointment from a clinical order). This makes it possible to graphically visualize the passage of a patient through the clinic as a whole.

Therapy planning: patient pathway and patient pathway view before extension
Therapy planning: patient pathway and patient pathway view before extension

2. Select the desired therapy or examination from the list of available appointment types and drag it to a position in the patient pathway.

Therapy planning: Move appointment selection to patient pathway
Therapy planning: Move appointment selection to patient pathway

3. The system now searches for a free slot for the desired appointment that lies chronologically after this position and before the next position and occupies the slot:

Therapy planning: patient pathway and patient pathway view after extension
Therapy planning: patient pathway and patient pathway view after extension

As a result, you will see that the patient pathway now has two appointments (triangles) instead of one appointment (one triangle) as before.

If the computer does not find an appointment in this interval, a message appears and the doctor can make a different decision. There are then simple possibilities to cancel or postpone existing appointments.

Independently of this, it is possible to transfer all relevant SAP appointments to the Exchange server and display them to the secretaries and doctors, e.g. in Outlook calendars. Thus, collisions with other appointments of the doctors (further education, vacation, ...) can be alarmed (see MS Exchange integration).