SMS reminders tackle the cost of missed appointmentsTopic: Esendex news
Missed appointments, known as did not attends or DNAs are a big problem in healthcare. Recent figures suggest that more than 12 million GP appointments are missed each year in the UK, costing a huge £162 million per year. There are a further 6.9 million outpatient hospital DNAs a year in the UK, costing an average of £108 per appointment in 2012/13.
Yesterday’s budget didn’t step up to tackle the problem – if people had to pay £20 for every time they forgot about an appointment, perhaps this would prevent so many healthcare professionals’ time from being wasted?
The NHS and many other healthcare services are looking at the problem themselves – using simple but powerful technology. Text messages are used to remind patients of the time and date of their appointment. This is also useful if patients need to cancel it; replacing what could have been a missed appointment with an opportunity.
Chelsea and Westminster hospital foundation trust has reduced its DNAs by 26% since introducing a simple text message reminder. The statistics speak for themselves.
SMS is frequently used in daily life, so why not in healthcare too!