Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with DrDoctor, a digital transformation company, is introducing local patients to a new online appointment service, aiming to improve patient experience and reduce the number of missed appointments.
From Monday 19 August, patients with upcoming appointments at the Great Western Hospital had the option to receive their appointment letters, reminders and view important clinic information and hospital floor plans from their smartphones, tablets and computers, via an online portal.
Patients who share their mobile number and email address with their GPs, hospital receptionists or booking clerks, will automatically receive a text message, email, or both, with a link to the online portal, the next time they have an appointment.
The launch of the new service follows a successful pilot in the hospital’s Ear, Nose and Throat department which has seen over 60 per cent of patients viewing their appointment letters online within the first week.
Commenting on the benefits of the new service, Karen Johnson, Director of Finance at the Trust said: “The new service will transform the way we communicate with our patients, and offer patients the choice to access their appointment information on a platform that is more convenient for them.
“The online portal ensures that appointment information is never lost, and is easily accessible wherever you are, and whenever you need it.
“This service is especially useful for carers and parents because patients can add multiple mobile numbers and email addresses on the online portal to receive text message or email notifications about upcoming appointments.
“As well as improving the overall patient experience, going paperless means that our patients are supporting the Trust to be more environmentally friendly.
“We know that an online service may not be accessible to everyone, so patients can continue to receive appointment letters by post as they normally would.”
Perran Pengelly, one of the three founders of DrDoctor said: “We are very excited to be partnering with Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to offer their patients greater choice over how they manage their appointments.
“Patients will be able to choose to receive all their appointment letters online, as well as view information about their appointments online whenever they need.
“This is an important step in transforming patient experience, relieving the stresses associated with hospital visits, and delivering a 21st-century health system with the patient at the centre.”
In the future, it will also be possible for patients to request changes to their appointment, and view other letters about their care via the portal.