|Trust tackles missed outpatient appointments|
|Written by Communications Team|
A local hospital Trust has reduced missed outpatient appointments by 50% in just six months, meaning more patients are getting timely access to the specialist care they need and less valuable staff time is wasted.
Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has introduced a new patient reminder service to reduce the number of people who fail to keep their appointments at both hospitals.
The Trust commissioned the service to tackle the high volume - more than 10 per cent of all new and follow-up appointments - of people who Did Not Attend (DNAs), resulting in increased waiting times and financial waste.
In six months the Trust has halved its DNAs from an average of 44,000 per year to around 20,000 a year, exceeding the original target, benefitting the Trust by around £500,000.
The scheme uses an appointment reminder service, Chronos, with a mix of live calls for older patients and parents of children under 16 and automated calls for other patients, to remind them of upcoming outpatient appointments. If a patient fails to respond to an automated call twice, then a further call will be made from an agent.
“We are delighted at the success of the scheme” said Hannah Donoghue, Patient Access Manager at the Trust. “By making sure people don’t forget their appointments, the scheme is helping us to see patients as quickly as possible, as well as saving significant sums of money that can be ploughed back into patient care. Where patients have cancelled at short notice through the reminder service, we have been able to offer the slots to other people for urgent appointments.”
Said Chief Nurse Suzanne Rankin, “We would urge all patients to try and keep their appointments if possible. Missed appointments means wasted appointments, delaying care for the individual and for other patients.
“Above all, the scheme has resulted in very positive feedback from patients about how it has improved their experience, by ensuring they get the care they need when they need it.”
Given the scheme’s success, the Trust has set targets to reduce DNAs further, and is rolling out the service in non-outpatient areas such as planned surgery, as well as x-rays and other tests for inpatients.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 May 2012 13:02|