A new queue monitoring tool - an interactive scoreboard - has been launched

The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania (HM), together with the National Health Insurance Fund under the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania (NHIF) and the State Data Agency (Statistics Lithuania), have created a new tool to monitor queues for appointments to doctors. The scoreboard, which displays data of the Advance Patient Registration (APR) information system, will enable monitoring the dynamics of queues and identifying problems, as well as monitoring effectiveness of the applied impact measures.

Arūnas Dulkys, Minister of Health of the Republic of Lithuania, states that the benefits and advantage of the new scoreboard are two-fold: using it, residents will be able to anticipate where the queues are the smallest, which medical institutions to go to for consultations, and health care policymakers will gain a tool that will allow them to pass data-based decisions.

“The key to “unlocking” perhaps the biggest failure in today's health care system - queuing - has been found. Until now, queue statistics were based on the data provided by the medical institutions themselves, now a real picture of the situation in our medical institutions will be visible. The scoreboard will make it possible to pass decisions based on data, to identify problematic areas, such as the availability of services at specific medical institutions, the opening of doctor's appointments, the lack of doctors of specific specializations”, says Arūnas Dulkys, Minister of Health of the Republic of Lithuania.

The scoreboard is available online by following this link: https://osp.stat.gov.lt/pacientu-eiles.

The scoreboard will allow you to objectively identify specialists, personal health care institutions and regions where the queues are the largest. HM and NHIF will analyse this information and purposefully apply impact measures (reimbursement of targeted services, prioritization of institutions that are able to provide more services, etc.). The scoreboard will also allow you to monitor whether queues are shortened by applying certain measures.

In the new scoreboard, information is constantly updated and is based on real data from the APR information system about registrations and visits to doctors. In order for the scoreboard to function in its entirety, all medical institutions must be connected to it. They should also provide all consultation times - currently there is a smaller part of them, so one of the most important tasks in enabling the operation of the scoreboard is active work with medical institutions.

Until now, NHIF was monitoring queues by collecting data provided by medical institutions about patient waiting queues once a month. These data were not sufficiently objective and accurate, they represented the situation of only one day of the month.

Currently, one out of ten patients register with specialist doctors through the APR information system (www.esveikata.lt), and medical institutions register part of their visits there. When evaluating data of the last three months, 14.4 per cent of primary health care services and 47.4 per cent of specialized healthcare services paid for by the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund were registered through the APR information system. Due to representativeness of the data of such volume, data of the wait time to visit should be treated with caution. Data evaluation will be carried out when a sufficient sample is ensured, as the current data reflect only a small part of the population's access to medical services.

By encouraging medical institutions to register patients through the APR information system, HM has initiated meetings with representatives of institutions and municipalities. During the meetings, already completed and planned system development works were presented, issues of concern to system users were discussed. According to HM, such meetings were useful - since November 2022, a significant increase in the use of the APR information system by institutions has been observed. During the last quarter of last year, the number of visits declared in the said system increased more than three times in primary health care and more than doubled in specialized health care.

Currently, Kelmė District Mental Health Center, Širvintos District Primary Health Care Center, Panevėžys Dental Polyclinic, Kalvarija Primary Health Care Center and Veiveriai Primary Health Care Center are using the APR system in primary health care in full or almost full scope, and in specialized care - Švenčionys District Hospital, Orthopaedic Services Clinic, Kėdainiai Hospital, Mykolas Marcinkevičius Hospital, Pasvalys Hospital, Klaipėda University Hospital Branch Jūrininkai Hospital, Vilkaviškis Hospital, Biržai Hospital and other institutions.

HM Communication division