United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
Reducing the ‘Did not Attend’ rate with digital patient letters.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT) is one of the biggest acute NHS Trusts in England and cares for a large rural community. ULHT were having issues with patients missing appointments due to lost or late mail with no way to track if postal communications had been received, especially for those in rural areas where postal delivery times vary. Hospital staff were dissatisfied with the inefficient internal process and postage admin incurred high costs.
Using the patient portal, patients instantly receive appointment letters straight to their smartphone with buttons to easily reschedule or cancel appointments. Patients can simply add appointment details directly into their calendars and all appointment specific information is attached. Using digital letters enables the Trust to track open rates and, if the digital letters are not accessed within 24 hours, a postal version is automatically triggered.
What was the impact?
Within five months, the DNA rate dropped from 5.8% to 4.1% which is one of the lowest in the country. This reduction of missed appointments creates potential income gains of more than £2 million per year as well as 57% cost savings through the reduction in postal correspondence.
“I previously missed an appointment because the letter didn’t arrive until three weeks after the appointment date. I like the fact that I have all the information I need digitally and with sufficient notice of future appointments. ”