This service design concept is a group work made by me, Meri Honkanen, Iida Kalsta, Otto Sorvettula and Kaarle Telivuo. It is a course project, and the assignment was to fix an everyday problem using service design.
We created a hypothetical service design concept for YTHS (Finnish Student Health Service). YHTS´s appointment booking system is at the moment based on a combination of a phone calling system and an internet service platform.
When one wants to make an appointment of any kind to YTHS he has to call first to the reservation service, which is basically a answering machine. The machine saves the callers number and after a while an YTHS employee calls back to the patient and he explains his needs. After this the YTHS employee estimates the situation and usually gives the patient an permission for an appointment. Then the patient has to go online and log in to the YTHS´s internet service system called Self, where he can accept his permission and use it to reserve the actual appointment from a calendar.
The Self - service has been launched in the recent years, and in the platform patients can for example handle their appointments and medical details. We really like the Self - service and created an alternative solution for the first phases of the appointment making; moving them from phone calls to the same service where everything else is also handled. Hoping that this would make the service path smoother for everyone.
The phone system is not only difficult because you have to move from one service platform into another but also because making the phone call itself can sometimes be hard and awkward. The YTHS reservation service is open almost only at the same hours when people are at school, so one cannot call during the nights and weekend (the only time one has time to think about the slightly aching tooth or need for vaccinations). Also explaining symptoms on the school halls or stressing about the incoming calls during lectures is unpleasant.
If the service would be moved fully to the Self service, the patient could make the application for an appointment online on their on their own time.
We created as a solution a form within the Self-service which the patient would fill in in order to apply for an appointment. The form has categories and questions that alternate according to them. It has the same questions as the YHTS employee would regularly ask, and space for additional comments and descriptions. When the form is filled and sent, the YTHS employee would receive the collected information, could estimate it and do further actions. The employee could instead of making hundreds of phone calls estimate the need of care from the information provided by the forms and permit the permissions straight via the Self service. The employee would call only some of the patients (for example to gather additional information) and wouldn't have to call everyone, this would save time for both the employees as the patients.
We believe that because so many appointment requests made for the YTHS are not urgent and are always permitted when asked for (e.g. vaccinations, dentist check-ups, and birth control appointments) the form could actually work and make things easier.