Secondary Care

United Lincolnshire Hospitals sees reduction in did not attend rates

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has seen a reduction in did not attend rates to 4.1 per cent following a new patient communications project.

The Trust introduced a new digital communication portal which enables patients to manage their appointments digitally from anywhere at anytime.

Developed by Healthcare Communications, the digital portal is replacing a resource-heavy system that relied on traditional letters to communicate with patients and incurred high costs. Since the portal’s launch in outpatients, the DNA rate has dropped from 5.8 per cent in September 2018 to 4.1 per cent in January 2019, compared to the national rate of 8.9%

Through the portal, patients receive appointment letters straight to their smartphone and can accept, cancel or rebook their appointment in real time, freeing up cancelled slots for other patients.

The portal has already seen postal letters reduced by 23,000 year-on-year and the Trust hopes the potential income gain is more than £2 million per year.

Kelly Wymer, ICT Project Manager from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust said “In the space of only a few months, we have seen incredible results from the portal. Patient feedback has been excellent with many keen to use it and support a more digital NHS.”

“By relying on traditional letters alone to communicate with patients, we were using a lot of resource and incurring high costs. The portal has resulted in better performance across the entire patient pathway, so we can focus on patient care.”

Kenny Bloxham, director of Healthcare Communications “Switching to a multi-channel, digital-first contact approach means patients can be reached in a way that best suits them. It’s great to see the way both patients and staff have embraced the secure digital portal – with patients able to cancel appointments in real time, so appointments can be used by other patients.”