Best Practice Guidelines: Healthcare Practice Management & POPIA Compliance Framework

Best Practice Guidelines: Healthcare Practice Management

POPIA Compliance Framework

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7. Appointments: Roles & Purpose

7.1. Appointments Business Processes

Search Methods for Bookings

Confidentiality Measures
  • No information of any person may be offered to anyone to confirm the identity of a Patient wanting to make a booking, e.g. Do not ask "are you Mr X from Church Street 5?" Rather, Mr X must just be asked for his address.

  • Providing a search function that searches your Desktop or Web App for Debtors is a method that offers users a way to find content quickly and easily, e.g. Debtor or Patient demographic information. The search function makes it easier for users to locate and access Debtors or Patients instead of having to scroll/navigate through the long list of bookings or debtors.
  • The user can search different types of information on bookings and Debtors/Patient information by using different search functions and options.
  • When a Patient phones the practice to book an appointment, search the database with information that is unique to that Patient/Debtor. e.g. their ID number. This will make it easier to find the correct Patient quickly.
  • Never disclose any personal information over the phone when a Patient phones for an appointment.
  • Always ask the Patient to provide certain information and the user can confirm the information, but never the other way around. 
  • If the information provided is not successful in the search, e.g. if the Name or Surname is not unique and the ID number unsuccessful, ask for other types of information, e.g. the Patient's physical address.

Booking Appointments

Each booking type will be managed differently. A practice will always work with New, Existing, Walk-In and Emergency Patients.

A practice can choose to offer both scheduled appointments and walk-ins. The differences will be clearly marked on the diary if the appointment types have been configured. Scheduled appointments can be either in person or through Telehealth calls and these different options can also be configured in the software.

New Patient appointments

  • Book a new Patient if it is a new Patient and the Patient's information has NOT been captured on GoodX. In other words, this type of booking is for a Patient who visits the Practice for the first time.
  • Ask the Patient to bring their medical aid card and ID document with them when they come for the appointment.
  • The Patient must also bring the Main Member / Debtor information with them for the first visit. It is preferable that the Main Member joins the Patient with the first visit.
  • Send the Patient a booking confirmation from the system.
  • The booking will only be a placeholder and the Patient file will only be created when the Patient arrives and the debtor is created.

Existing Patient appointments

  • Book an existing Patient if the Patient information has already been captured. The Patient already has an electronic file at the practice on the system.
  • Confirm the Patient information telephonically or when the Patient arrives at the practice or request the Patient to confirm his or her details through myGC.
  • Send a booking confirmation to the Patient via GoodX.

Express Bookings

  • Once an express booking is saved, the Patient is immediately created as both the Patient and the Debtor on the system.
  • A new electronic Debtor file will be created with each booking, which could create numerous Debtor files.
  • Certain specialities will benefit from using express bookings, for example, ER facilities or practices that only see Patients once and don't do follow up visits.
Walk-In Patient appointments

  • A Walk-in Patient is a Patient that walks into the practice without an appointment.
  • A Walk-in Patient can be a New Patient or an Existing Patient.
  • It is important to obtain the Patient’s correct and complete information.
  • These Patients are added to the diary as walk-in Patients so that you have a record of how many Patients visit the practice without an appointment to establish trends in your practice.

    Emergency appointments

    • Emergency walk-ins can be booked for Patients who arrive with no appointments, who are in critical conditions and therefore need urgent assistance.
    • In the Desktop App the booking will automatically show as arrived and as a walk-in Patient.
    • The Web App uses a Booking type template that can be created and can be configured that the booking will be in the Arrived status.
    Online Bookings (myGrandCentral)

    • The Patient can book an appointment without contacting the Receiptionist and will not have to wait until the practice opens to make the appointment. 
    • Online Bookings must be checked and ensure that all bookings are valid and confirmed with the Patients.
    • Show policy setting will display the available timeslots on the Diary for the specific Doctor:
      • The Patient chooses a booking time: the "Patient chooses the booking time" option will allow the Patient to choose their own time. The practice will then confirm if the timeslot is available on the diary and book the Patient for that specific timeslot.
      • Show all available timeslots: the "show available timeslots" option will display all available timeslots on the Doctors diary that have not been booked on the myGC App.
      • Only share contact information: the "only share contact information" option will display ONLY the Doctors contact information for the Practice on the myGC App. There will be no available timeslots or diary information. 
      • Do not share anything: the "do not share anything" option will not display any available timeslots or contact information for the Doctor on the myGC App.

    Manage patient bookings


    Information Quality
    • The collected Personal Information should be complete and correct. Complete all required fields in the software.

     Confidentiality Measures
    • Check access control of personnel & update access control. GoodX keeps logs of who adds or changes information on bookings and/or timeslots.
    • During the collection of Personal Information to make an appointment, no information may be offered to advance a search.
    • Adhere to a clean desk policy so as never to leave Personal Information lying around or visible to unauthorised persons.


    • Appointments can be cancelled or marked as not arrived if patients did not cancel appointments ahead of time.
    • Patients that are often cancelling appointments can be managed.

    Repeat, Extent, Move and Copy

    • Appointments can be booked as repeated bookings for patients that must come eg every 2 weeks, or once a week, or every month, depending on the treatment.
    • When an appointment is longer than the usual timeslot and the appointment is taking longer than the normal booking time, the appointment can be extended with the number of appointment slots. 
    • If a procedure will take longer than the normal consultation time, the appointment can be extended to provide more time for the completion of the procedure.
    • Appointments can be moved to different time slots or dates.
    • Appointments can be copied to multiple days and time slots.
    • If the patient wants a follow-up appointment, the current appointment can be copied to a new date.

    Information Changes

    • If a patient arrives at the practice and their condition seems serious, the patient status can be changed to an emergency.
    • If there are any changes in the patient or debtor information, the changes can be made upon the arrival of the patient, but they can also be done afterwards.

    Manage other types of appointments

    • The diary assists in managing the practitioners day. The diary can therefore also be used for other types of appointments, such as personal appointments, representative appointments etc.
    • Recurring appointments (Range of Appointments in the Desktop App) can be booked on the diary using a single function, for example, if the practitioner wants to book lunch every day at the same time.
    • Theatre procedures can be booked and theatre times can be reserved on the diary, after which theatre lists can be maintained on the diary.
    • Theatre lists can be created and maintained from the diary and patients booked for procedures with the necessary information the hospital will require.

    Theatre Bookings

    Confidentiality Measures
    • If you are making theatre bookings, make sure that no one in the reception area, if applicable, can hear the details given to the hospital or other practitioners.

    • The practitioner can create their own Theatre list and manage the theatre bookings. 
    • The theatre bookings can be shared with any other practitioners and hospitals with or without the GoodX software. 
    • The practitioner or hospital can use GrandXChange (also a product from GoodX) to manage the theatre bookings on their side even if they are not the GoodX program.

    Please also refer to the Peri-Operative Management Module.

    Telehealth Bookings


    Communication to Data Subject
    • myGC patient app provides control to the Data Subject (patient) of which information is shared and the appointment with the practitioners.

    • Telehealth bookings (video appointments) enable face-to-face communication between the Practitioner and the Patient who are in different locations.
    • Telehealth bookings is a popular alternative to phone calls for Practices and provide individual Patients with an inexpensive means of consulting/communication with Practitioners.
    • The Practice will send out a bulk SMS to all patients with a LINK informing them about the Telehealth functionality. If the patient wants to book a Telehealth appointment they must click on the link in the SMS.
    • The Patient will book an online telehealth consultation via the link that was sent out on myGC. 
    • A pre-screening questionnaire can also be completed to determine if the patient is low risk or a high-risk patient. 
    • The appointments will display on the Doctors Diary with a booking icon indicating the risk of the patient if a Questionnaire was completed. This will be calculated after the Patient completed a  pre-screening Questionnaire. 

    Please also refer to the Telehealth Module. 

    External Bookings

    Confidentiality Measures
    • Adding a booking functionality to the practice's website requires that the website be secured so that no Personal Information of Data Subjects (eg Patients) can be accessed or stolen.

    • External Bookings is focused on directing users from a doctor’s own website and by means of a customised link and taking them to the myGrandCentral App. 
    • The app will also make use of personalised branding by means of style sheets to introduce the practice branding and logo.

    Please also refer to the myGC: the Patient Portal Module.