In many resource-limited settings, health care delivery systems face constraints due to increasing need for health expenditure and the large proportion of the population reliant on the public sector. In South Africa, the existing service delivery structure faces additional challenges related to the growing number of HIV-infected South Africans initiating antiretroviral therapy. Long queues, long wait times, and overcrowding are often characteristic of South Africa’s public health care facilities. These impact on patient satisfaction, create patient costs, and affect patient retention and care. Health care facilities that rely on a system of patient appointments scheduled by day, and not by time, may exacerbate these patient level issues.
HE²RO aims to improve patient retention and care by understanding the challenges and advantages related to the current system of booking patient appointments and assessing the potential for an alternative booking system. This will be done by examining the current booking systems being used at two public health facilities offering HIV-related care and treatment in Johannesburg, South Africa and exploring the feasibility of an alternative booking system based on a more structured appointment schedule.