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SMS reminders reduce missed appointments by 27%

From Cellular News:

As a result of one of the first population-wide deployments of text messaging services, GP surgeries across Lewisham Primary Care Trust in London, UK have reduced missed appointments by 27% over the last year. The reduction has been attributed to surgeries using iPLATO Patient Care Messaging, a platform for text appointment reminders and other mobile patient services in UK Primary Care.

Neat.  Sending a text reminder causes patients to be on time for appointments.  That's a big benefit for such a small feature.

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • paul sweeney August 31, 2007, 7:55 am

    It certainly is. Would it surprise you if I told you that the UK NHS (National Health Service) lost $800m last year through missed appointments?

  • Alec August 31, 2007, 9:36 am

    I guess not, Paul. That's huge.

  • Al Shortland September 1, 2007, 3:24 am

    Its a fantastic idea, and one that we have been using in our own doctors surgery for the past year. We use Txtlocal (http://www.txtlocal.com) – which, unlike the iPlato system is 100% free to setup and use.. we just pay for the text messages at 4p each and rent an inbound mobile number for £35 per month.

    Each day we export an excel spreadsheet from our appointments system and import it into Txtlocal, merging in patient names, appointment times and doctor details. All very very simple.

    The system has reduced our missed appointments by 40% in the last year and I can't understand why more practices don't use a similar system.

  • Jason Sjobeck September 7, 2007, 7:58 pm

    Great idea, thanks very much, we will suggest this add-on to all our client's Asterisk PBX's where appropriate, they will love it.


  • Priit February 23, 2011, 7:05 am

    SMS sending service really offers a lot of benefits. Imagine the 27% reduction in missed appointments? That’s a lot!

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