Scotland’s telehealth and telecare service is to extend it’s implementation of their Patient Reminder Service following two successful pilots.
NHS 24 are reportedly “providing exciting new services” to help improve quality and efficiency for patients according to Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Health Secretary.
A collaboration between NHS 24 and NHS Forth Valley yielded a reduction in “did not attend” (DNA) rates for patient appointments by 27% following an initiative where staff made telephone reminders to patients. Patients were contacted eight days before their scheduled appointment, which NHS 24 believes is the optimum time for a reminder.
The pilot scheme at Forth Valley was conducted in a number of departments, including gynaecology, paediatrics, gastroenterology and oral maxillofacial clinics. Following implementation, this will now be rolled-out across 15 specialties.
A detailed evaluation of the project is currently underway but initial results showed that DNA rates, which had become as high as one in four, fell to one in six. A similar service started at the beginning of May with outpatient appointments at NHS Western Isles.
NHS 24 chief executive John Turner said that in addition to telephone reminders, the service also hopes to expand to include automated phone message or SMS. He stated that the service has previously evolved from a simple telephone help and advice line to now offers web and digital television, telephone based emergency dental care, mental health services and support for those with musculoskeletal problems.
Original Source eHealth Insider
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