The free Salud Responde app is becoming increasingly popular with people in Malaga province who want to make or cancel an appointment with their GP, or request information. In the first six months of this year, the number of transactions carried out via this app went up by 50.4 per cent, says the director of Salud Responde, José María González.
Thirty-six per cent of the population of the province (587,762 people) now have this free application and it has become the most-used method of managing health centre appointments.
The app, which has been developed for Apple, Android and Windows Phone, can be downloaded from the website of the Andalusian Health Ministry or that of the Empresa Pública de Emergencias Sanitarias (www.epes.es), which manages the Salud Responde service. Once the app has been downloaded, the user has to enter the number of their social security card, their date of birth and DNI or NIE. The system registers the complete profile on the app, so the user can access it easily and directly every time without having to enter that information again.
If required, users of this app can also receive, free of charge, reminders about appointments, notifications and information, as well as public health warnings and advice about matters such as a forthcoming heatwave, allergies or other campaigns, in text and video format or links to websites. During the first six months of this year, 103,125 SMS messages were sent to users of the app for these reasons.
In the first half of this year Salud Responde also attended to 729,219 phone calls from people wanting to make or cancel appointments or asking for information. Of these, 4,895 were through the telephone assistance system (also known as the 'red button'). On average it takes about 55 seconds for someone who rings the service to make, change or cancel an appointment.
The employees who answer the phone at Salud Responde have been specifically trained in communication techniques, managing emotions and how to handle complaints, and they receive continual training in order to improve the quality of the service.
Salud Responde can also change appointments with specialists, and users of this part of the service increased by 24.2 per cent in the first half of 2019 compared with the same period last year. Between January and June, it was used 95,748 times.