Online patient appointment system: a case study for Makerere University Hospital
Atwine, Mary Alice
Rupiiha, Norman Kunywana
Kadugala, Macheri Fredrick
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An online system is a computer system that is part of, or is embedded in a larger entity, such as a communication system, and that interacts in real or near real-time with the entity and its users. Makerere University Hospital started in 1952 as a sickbay. It is located along Gadaffi road on Makerere hill. The sickbay had a few departments like examination and investigation (laboratories), OPD (out-patient department) and administration. For other special cases like dental, gynecology and x-ray, patients would be referred to Mulago hospital. At that time, the doctor to patient ratio was 1:10. Patients' access to health services at MUH is tremendously under threat. This is because the appointment system currently in use is slow and with many errors. There are also appointment clashes. The main objective of this project was to develop an online appointment system. This is a web based information system that will enable patients (students) to access doctors' schedules and book appointments online irrespective of the location and time. In effort to determine system requirements, several techniques were used. First, the sampling technique was used to identify a sample population from whom data was got. This sample population was then subjected to the following data collection techniques: Interviews, observations and questionnaires. We analyzed the data got during group discussions. A Context diagram, Data Flow Diagram (DFD) and Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) were used in analyzing and designing of the system. The system was implemented using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 as a database management system, ASP.NET and Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 for the design of patient web forms. Patients (students) can now ably view doctors' schedules and make appointments online. The administrator can then register new users, edit schedules and view pending results. A short messaging system has been constructed to ensure communication between patients and doctors.