A simple and cost-effective SMS reminder for patients is just one way hospitals could keep their DNA numbers down. But while SMS reminders have been used for years, the level of integration with existing software and databases has perhaps not been used to its fullest. Added to this a lack of two-way SMS communication and you can see why DNA’s are still a major issue.
But with integrated two-way SMS communication possible, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Offering patients the ability to reply to appointment notifications with a simple keyword such as ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘reschedule’ reduces the perceived ‘hassle’ out of calling to confirm or rearrange. What’s more, integrating this SMS communication with a CRM or appointment software allows for real-time updating of appointment schedules meaning that any new open slots can be filled quicker, dramatically reducing the number of DNA’s.
The NHS estimates that using SMS based reminder services with a respond option can reduce DNA’s by up to 65%, which leads to a saving of up to £455 million pounds per year.
If we apply that 65% to the DNA’s for Cork and Kerry, the number of DNA’s could have been reduced by over forty thousand with overall potentially savings of almost €29m per year.
Reputable mobile messaging solution providers such as Púca are working with a number of organisations on integrating SMS with calendar appointment systems, and seeing dramatic cost reductions and business efficiency improvements as a result.
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