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Text reminder service for outpatients

17 July 2012

Islanders with outpatient appointments at the hospital, and in some areas of mental health services, will receive text message reminders about their appointments from 18 July.

The service was trialled successfully in both the hospital’s Colposcopy Unit and Physiotherapy department, significantly reducing the number of people who did not attend their appointments. Patients will receive a text message saying ‘Please remember your appointment at (time) on (date). If you cannot attend please contact (telephone number).’

The service will be provided by Jersey Telecom. Messages will be sent at approximately 11.30am each day, 3 working days before each appointment. They will not replace appointment letters, but will be used as a reminder.

The ICR project manager for Health and Social Services, Michelle Cabot, said “When we trialled the service in the Colposcopy Unit we halved our Did Not Attend (DNA) rate. We have also successfully used the service in our Physiotherapy department. It is great that we can roll this out more widely to help patients remember their appointments and it will benefit staff as clinics run more smoothly.

“Although patients can opt out of the scheme, we would urge Islanders to take up these reminders, which cost them nothing. We would like people to let us know their mobile numbers if they haven’t given them to us already, so we can send them text messages reminders about their next appointment.

“They can let us know their mobile number, or opt out, by contacting 442011, or emailing with their name, address and date of birth, and mobile number. Or they can pop into the Outpatients Department, and let the outpatient clerks know.”

The current DNA rate for outpatient appointments is about 10%. It is estimated that each DNA appointment costs the department at least £70, as the slot cannot be filled at such late notice.

Ms Cabot added “We hope the introduction of this system across all departments will improve patient care as people won’t miss their appointments and it will save wasted slots. It is important that people let us know if they are unable to make an appointment so that we can rebook someone else into their slot.”

The Managing Director of JT’s Global Business Unit, Tim Ringsdore, said "JT is delighted to work as partners with Health and Social Services on such an important service. When they approached us we thought it was a great idea.

"As well as helping to reduce the number of missed appointments, we thought it would be a real help to Islanders. It is exactly the sort of innovative and practical service which we aim to provide, and we will be working hard to make it a real success.”

Email Health and Social Services
Tel: +44 (0) 1534 442011

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