From October 2nd 2017, the digital letters service has been rolled out to certain outpatients clinics within the hospital. Patients who have a mobile phone number registered with the hospital, will be offered their letter digitally. If the digital letter is not accessed within 24 hours or no mobile number is held with the hospital, then a postal letter is automatically sent and the digital letter is deleted.
Not only can patients view all their appointment details on their smartphone, tablet and computer, they can cancel or confirm the appointment in 1 click. This can then be added directly into the patient’s digital calendar as a further reminder prompt.
The patient portal is highly secure, accessed by a unique link and 4-digit PIN. As well as the appointment date and time, the letter also includes pre-assessment instructions, essential reading and hospital information as attachments.
Rather than having to wait for letters to arrive or rebook by phone, digital delivery is instant and patients can now see and control their appointments at the touch of a button. With an appointment booking system now responsive to patients’ ‘on the go’ lifestyles, the Trust believe that there is potential to further reduce nonattendance and wasted appointments too; meaning patients can be seen quicker and services run more efficiently.
Healthcare Communications created the patient portal to fill the efficiency gap in NHS postal letter costs. Mike Cunningham, the MD of the company said, “To see the daily uptake and readiness of patients to communicate this way is so exciting for the digital future of the NHS.
A: The patient portal features an additional level of security in that Date of Birth verification is required to access your appointment letter.
A: As well as patient portal communications, the trust operates a handy appointment reminder service to ensure patients remember the key details of their upcoming appointment. Once you have confirmed your appointment on your phone it will automatically link to your mobile phone calendar.
A: Patients can opt out of text messaging at any time by speaking to a member of staff when arriving for your hospital appointment.
The same procedure should be followed as if a patient has not brought their physical letter to an appointment. Turn up at the hospital and book in on the self-check machines using your DOB.
A: The staff in the hospital will contact you to arrange a new date
A: If you do not access your letter on your mobile phone for whatever reason within 24 hours of receiving your text link, the system sends you a postal letter, which you should expect to receive within 2 days.
A: All the self check-in machines within the hospital have been set up to access the 2D digital letters.