Text reminders to be sent to patients

18 July 2012

Taranaki DHB is set to send text reminders to those people with outpatient appointments in a bid to reduce did not attend (DNA) rates.

It is the latest initiative to drive down the missed appointment rates which cost the DHB close to $1M a year. Clinical Services Manager for Surgery, Lee McManus said some specialties had a higher number of patients who DNA than others, with a variance from 0% to 24% (currently averaging 7%).

“It is the money, but it is also the waste. It’s a waste of specialists time and a waste for those people that we could have made appointments for if we knew patients would not be turning up,” said Mrs McManus.

“We have already started text reminders to dental patients and we are looking at rolling it out to all specialties over the coming months.

“While some reasons people cannot attend appointments are valid we just ask that people who are booked for an appointment to let us know if they cannot make it, if they no longer need the appointment or if they need to change their appointment time.”

Taranaki DHB booking office now also now have a dedicated call centre to take calls on any issue regarding outpatient appointments.

In the last year Taranaki DHB provided 96,000 outpatient appointments and just over 7000 of those appointments were no shows.

“We want to provide as many people with specialist appointments as possible and if people don’t let us know they cannot make it then this stops others from getting an appointment as well,” said Mrs McManus.

Patients will continue to receive a booking card through the mail. On the card there is a phone number for them to call if they are unable to attend. In addition we anticipate that the texting service will provide that last minute reminder to ensure full utilisation of the clinics.

For more information please call:
Sue Carrington
Media Adviser
Ph 021 367 789

Last updated: Wednesday, July 18, 2012

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