TEXT REMINDERS FOR PATIENTS

Patients at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) will soon benefit from a brand new text reminder service. It will help them monitor and keep their clinical appointments as well as access service specific information.

Known as ‘DrDoctor’, this new system will go-live Thursday 1 August within the Trust’s Ophthalmology, Gastroenterology and Respiratory services. All patients receiving a new appointment with the organisation will receive a text message containing all relevant details, as well as an invitation to use the new online portal.

Using a patient’s registered mobile number or email address, DrDoctor sends out regular reminders for upcoming appointments, while also providing a platform which contains all relevant information, maps and the ability to cancel or rearrange, should they need to.

Nationally, around one in 10 appointments made are missed every year in England, costing the health service millions of pounds. Unfortunately, DBTH is within the top 25% of all trusts in the country for patients not attending appointments, recording around 140 missed a day or 50,000 each year. Equating to around £6 million in lost funding annually for the local hospitals, in real-terms this wasted cash is the equivalent of 200 nurses, 747 hip replacements or 22,388 MRI scans.

DrDoctor will be piloted shortly in a few areas around DBTH (Ophthalmology, Respiratory and Gastroenterology). After going live in these specialities, the organisation will then be able to roll-out to more services, with the current plan being to have everything in place by the end of 2019.

In preparation of the go-live, the Trust is asking patients to ensure that their contact details are up-to-date by contacting the reception desk of any service they currently use, as well as their GP practice.

The launch of DrDoctor forms part of DBTH’s ‘Digital Transformation programme, a scheme of work which is looking at making the most of new technologies in order to improve patient care, safety, experience and treatment.

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