Healthcare Communications is an SME that has a range of software solutions for the management of outpatient appointments, including digital outpatient letters, a patient portal and a health messaging service.
Postal letters are currently the main NHS channel for communicating patient appointment details. However, in a recent survey (ICM, Dec 2017) 48% of respondents who missed a medical appointment stated postal letter related issues for doing so, such as arriving too late or not at all. Slow, unreliable delivery impacts on patient care and the Referral to Treatment clock.
Healthcare Communications created secure digital letters that are instantly delivered to a smartphone enabling patients to confirm/cancel/rebook with one tap. Digital content converts to 99 languages and if the letter is not accessed within 24 hours, a postal letter is automatically sent. Accessible anytime, anywhere – with no paper, print or postal costs and all essential reading attached, delivering a completely paperless solution.
The company’s digital appointment management software streamlines the process of providing patients with their appointment time and other information such as directions, maps and leaflets about their condition. As this information was previously sent through the post there are significant savings in terms of administrative time, stationery and postage costs.
How we helped
We worked with Healthcare Communications to increase exposure across the region, leading the company to implementing systems in new Trusts and adding to the services provided to existing customers. We also supported the company to establish a base in Leeds which led to the creation of one job and an inward investment to the regions’ economy worth £50,000.
Trusts who have implemented digital appointment letters have had good results in terms of uptake and reduced costs. At Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 50% of patients have opted to receive appointment details digitally.
Other benefits include optimising clinic time: the digital letters with reminders has reduced appointment DNAs by approximately 5%.
The Yorkshire & Humber AHSN are an amazing support and have been instrumental in helping spread our digital innovation within their region.