Hospital patient flow and appointment specialist companies Intouch with Health and DrDoctor have partnered to deliver a completely-digital outpatient management solution to support hospital staff in the drive towards a paperless NHS.
The solution will allow hospitals to encourage patients to schedule, view and change outpatient appointments themselves via an online portal, significantly reducing the need for paper-based booking forms and enabling faster communication between hospitals and patients.
It will also enable hospitals to automatically offer last-minute or cancelled appointments digitally to suitable patients, rather than using the phone.
The technology is enabled through integration with a trust’s patient administration system to ensure appointment and patient information is up to date and efficiently transferred.
Mike Sanders, chief executive at Intouch with Health, said:“Once a patient has managed their appointment via the DrDoctor online portal, when they arrive at hospital our software then takes over the management of their movements for the duration of their visit.
“Our Patient Flow Manager dashboard gives staff real-time access to information on a patient’s location and stage of appointment, and is the central hub from where they can also manage other paperless processes such as our digital Patient Calling and Electronic Outcomes software.
“Partnering with DrDoctor has enabled us to create an end-to-end solution that will help NHS trusts operate more efficiently and reduces paper waste before their patients even physically arrive at a hospital.”
Tom Whicher, founder and chief executive at DrDoctor, added: “Paper letters and phone calls are too often the only way to book NHS appointments in the UK. This can be slow and often inaccurate, meaning patients get confused, hospital clinics run with gaps and patients end up waiting longer than they should. In turn, this drives costs up and drives efficiency down.
“Our partnership with Intouch with Health is designed to support hospitals with significant cost savings and increased efficiency by giving them access to a holistic and fully-integrated outpatient management solution from the moment a patient books an appointment, and deliver a higher quality of care and reduced labour costs through more-effective patient scheduling and use of integrated technology.”
More than 100 NHS hospitals in the UK currently use part or all of the Intouch patient flow management system, including University College Hospital in London and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.
Trusts currently using the DrDoctor solution include Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Nottingham University Hospitals, and NHS Frimley Health Foundation Trust.