Avoid the cost of missed Health appointments with SMS technology

27 May 2015

Recent research has revealed that SMS technology can be implemented to reduce the number of missed GP and outpatient appointments.  Figures show more than twelve million GP appointments are missed each year in the UK, costing in excess of £162 million per annum. A further 6.9 million outpatient hospital appointments are missed each year. On average the cost of a missed appointment is £108*. In addition there are the hidden costs involved with the replacement appointment. Missed appointments, known as ‘Did Not Attends’ (DNAs) also adds to the current appointment delays in treatment for other patients.

Sending a simple SMS reminder, is a strategy now used by many clinics and can have a significantly positive impact – a meta analysis study actually found patients who received notifications were 23% more likely to attend, than those who received nothing. To help patients remember their appointments a text reminder is particularly effective, as SMS benefits from an open rate of 95% and 90% of test messages are read within just 3 minutes.  Patients with a mobile number registered with the clinic will receive a text message reminder and even patients with a landline number can receive automated text messages.

Screenshot of text messages

Promotion of the Text Reminder System

How to inform patients who have registered their mobile phone number:

  • Send two messages to remind patients of their appointment:
    • The initial reminder will arrive 7 days before their appointment
    • The second reminder will arrive 24 hours before their appointment
  • Provide the ability to confirm the appointment
  • Provide options to cancel and re-book their appointment
  • Allow patients to opt out of the text reminder service at any point

How secure is the SMS reminder service?

TextAnywhere provides customers the ability to either use our secure and reliable SMS service via the web application or to connect by integrating your system via an API (Application Programming Interface). And because we’re committed to helping you, we will provide you with unlimited free technical support. You can find detailed, free information on sending messages, and access code samples from our Developer Centre.

You may also want to take look our Email to SMS service. You can quickly and easily send SMS text messages from any email application to any mobile phone through our email-to-SMS gateway, and receive replies and delivery confirmations by return. What’s more, you only pay for the messages you send.

Our friendly Customer Service and Technical Support Team are here to help should you need any further information or assistance so please do get in touch on 08451 221 302 or you can email us at [email protected]. The Technical Support Team can also assist with any API / Text Gateway related questions.

* figures taken from NHS England

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