WATCH: A Victoria educated entrepreneur is helping to solve a big frustration for medical patients – waiting in long lines at walk in clinics. Monica Martinez reports.
There’s hardly any wait time at Royal Oak Medical clinic, but you don’t have to show up in person or call ahead to find that out.
A new website called MediMap shows the participating clinics in your city, and how long the wait times are at each location.
“It’s been amazing. We have seen an increase in new patients coming in. Our wait times are cut down because people can actually see how long of a wait it is before they come in,” said Natalie Gladstone, office manager at the Royal Oak Medical Clinic.
Gladstone and her staff are prompted to update the website every half hour, and can easily change office hours or let people know if a doctor has reached the limit of patients.
University of Victoria grad Blake Adam launched the website last year as a pilot project. Now 100 clinics are participating in 17 communities across B.C.
“We just saw this as a really simple opportunity to improve access to care to patients by solving a problem that most people can relate to,” Adam said.
Dr. Chris Watt’s Cook Street Village clinic was one of the first to sign up.
“It hasn’t made us any busier but it does actually help us redistribute patients who are making decisions to go to other clinics where wait times are even shorter or where the clinic is available,” he said.
He said it’s had a big impact on the number of calls his clinic receives.
“Our staff are telling me they’ve seen our call volume go down by about 30 or 40 per cent in just the short time we’ve been using it,” Watt said.
Gladstone said the only downside is wait times can quickly go from zero to ten patients in 30 minutes.
“So people need to be flexible and understand that things change.”
MediMap is mostly used in British Columbia but the co-founders are expanding into Ontario and hope to grow the service across the country.