An Intelligent Mobile-Phone Based Appointment Management System: a Case Study of Zion Health Centre Kitebi
Author: NANKANJA BRIDGET
Supervisor: Rahman Sanya Bs.
Making appointments at health facilities is time consuming and tedious. In recent years, a lot of research has been done to solve the scheduling problem in Hospitals. Much of this is towards online appointment scheduling using Web based applications. This has led to further research into use software agents. Over the past considerable amount of work have been done by using software Agents in areas like m-commerce, telemedicine, and engineering among others. This research aimed at solving the appointment scheduling problem by developing an Intelligent Mobile-Phone based appointment system. In this project, the system aims at making appointments using intelligent agents that negotiate amongst themselves for appropriate patient appointments and doctor schedules and emergency situations. This is done with no input from physical agents of patient and doctor. Other research objectives included analyzing existing systems, designing a model and implement the model for the system. Before commencing of data collection, extensive review of literature was done to understand how appointment management is done in the hospital environment and to identify the best frameworks, technologies and methodologies to use in order to accomplish the research objectives. The user centered design approach was used so that users would fully be involved in the system development so as to fully meet their needs. The purpose of User-Centered Design is to involve end users in the development process of the product or system in a way that the prototypes and designs, and finally the products or systems would meet the needs and requirements of the users as well as possible. Under this process data collection techniques included document review, interviews, observation and questionnaires. All these were given to the target users and data from the data collection was categorized and analyzed to come up with system requirements. The findings of the study show that many of the target users already own smart phones and a change in appointment scheduling would be very good especially for the patients and administrators who share the burden of poor scheduling methods more. The report shows evidence of implementation of the system. One of the key findings is that given more time and resources, the system can be scaled out to a bigger hospital environment and more hospital administration tasks besides scheduling.