Text messaging brings benefits to outpatient appointment system


The TECHNOLOGY is being used to help speed up the region’s outpatient appointment system – and reduce waste.

A growing number of outpatient clinics are starting to use a text message in the first place to help people schedule their appointments.

However, recognizing that this will not be suitable for everyone, a letter setting the dates will still be sent to those who do not wish to take the opportunity.

Welcoming the new Patient Hub system, Graham Gault, Managing Director of Information Management and Technology, said, “Technology has the potential to make real advancements in the patient experience across all settings. health care and social services.
“Just as SMS is now quite commonly used by general practitioners and dental offices to alert people of upcoming appointments, an increasing number of our outpatient clinics are now opting for this option.
“Notifying people of their scheduled appointment as quickly as possible and then allowing them to schedule attendance is a real benefit, and this system allows people to confirm attendance or reschedule.
“It also offers the possibility of reducing the unnecessary production of letters of appointment, with the associated costs and environmental impact.
“This approach also benefits the teams that manage our patient reception service.
“However, we are very aware that not everyone will have access to text messaging and that this approach may not be suitable for everyone. As a result, the system ensures that anyone who does not wish to take this approach will then still receive a traditional paper appointment letter in the mail. “

A person who receives an appointment by SMS will be asked to provide their date of birth in order to connect to the secure system.

They will then be asked questions about their appointment and whether they can arrive on the scheduled date and time.

If the patient accepts, the process will be completed and they will be offered the option of adding the appointment to their smartphone agenda.

If the patient replies that he cannot show up, the appointment will be reorganized.

If no response is received, a classic paper appointment letter is sent to the patient.

Outpatient clinics for dermatology, general surgery, ENT, oral and maxillofacial, orthodontics, breast and neurology were among the first to adopt this new nominating function, but the system continues to expand to all specialties.

Mr Gault said: “We are asking people to embrace this new way of working, which will hopefully become more convenient and more appropriate for the service.”

A video has been produced that helps highlight the new text message approach of the Patient Center system.


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