When you need the services of a walk-in medical clinic, you likely aren’t in the mood to make a series of calls, just to compare the various wait times at clinics in your area.
A new website, launched in Langley and across B.C. aims to render that process obsolete.
When you visit Medimap.ca, you can enter your city or town and see a list of local clinics with their current wait times. This information is updated by staff at each participating clinic every half hour.
Medimap co-founder Blake Adam said he and his business partner were inspired by personal experience to start their company.
“I remember being sick once and calling and trying to get a hold of the clinic in my area and I couldn’t actually get through to a receptionist,” he said.
“So I went down there and I found that they [had] closed early for the day because they had too many patients waiting.”
If a large proportion of people were to use the site before deciding which clinic to go to, it would make more efficient use of the resources available, said Adam.
He also said that the extra work of updating the website saves clinic staff more time and work in the long run because they have to field fewer calls from people simply wanting to ask about the wait time.
Raman Thind, a receptionist at Healthway Medical Clinic on Fraser Highway (which is one of about 90 clinics province-wide and five in Langley using the service), said she believes the site has brought at least a few new patients to her clinic.
“Some people see the waiting time and they come here because we are a new clinic, so we always have a [shorter] waiting time,” she said.
But at least so far, it hasn’t eliminated all the calls about wait times.
“[People phone and] they ask me if it’s true because they can’t believe it,” she said.