Txt 2 remind U @ SLHT
South London Healthcare NHS Trust has launched its new text messaging service for all outpatient appointments this week across all sites. The text messages remind people about their booked appointments and give patients the opportunity to postpone appointments simply by texting back. Approx one in ten people miss their appointments; the Trust is hoping to significantly reduce this number of people who do not attend their appointments (Do Not Attends or DNAs) as well as offering any unwanted appointments to other patients.
Terri Agnew, General Manager Outpatients explains: “Patients will easily be able to inform the Trust a week before if they cannot attend their appointment. Significant capacity is wasted waiting for patients who don’t attend and this new system means we can offer slots to other patients, therefore reducing waiting lists further across the sites. We are encouraging all patients to provide us with their mobile numbers when they attend hospital. We are hoping to use text messaging reminders out across the Trust to other departments in the next six months.”
The new text messaging system is used throughout the country and is proven to reduce the number of wasted appointments by up to 64%. The messages can also go to home phones and it does not cost the recipient anything to reply to the messages.