DrDoctor is a smartphone-based appointment management system, designed to help hospitals transform the way they communicate with patients and reduce DNA rates. Within nine weeks, the overall DNA rate at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital was reduced by 35%.
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The vast majority of patient interactions with secondary care are through outpatient clinics. In fact, 85% of all UK hospital-based activity (excluding A&E) is accounted for by outpatient appointments. One in five potential appointments in England, and one in four appointments in Wales, are cancelled or reported as DNA.
A recent OFCOM survey showed that smartphone ownership in those aged over 60 years was at 72%, and over 90% for the remainder of the population.
Before partnering with DrDoctor, ROH’s DNA rate for the clinics that were identified as in-scope for DrDoctor were at a high baseline of 10.9%. Clearly, there was an opportunity to leverage mobile technology reduce this, while improving the quality of care for patients. Although the DNA rate was below the national average, as a high performing specialist centre the Trust partnered with DrDoctor to improve this further by implementing Appointment Management.
ROH partnered with DrDoctor in 2019 to implement Patient Platform and Appointment Management, with a view of rolling out Digital Letters and Patient-led Booking as a second phase. To make life for hospital users simple, and in line with recent national pushes to reduce login time, this was provisioned with Seamless Single Sign on Solution, utilising Active Directory Integration.
In order to achieve benefits quickly, ROH rolled out Appointment Management in all selected clinics, which accounts for 70% of all outpatient clinics, in nine weeks. The Trust had a dedicated Programme Manager from DrDoctor on-site throughout this process - enabling the Trust to quickly start to see tangible improvements to DNA rates and patient satisfaction.
The feedback from the booking team, whom I manage, has been very positive including a significantly reduction in telephone traffic and a reduction in the amount of time taken to reschedule patients’ appointments.
Matthew Payne, Clinical Services Manager, Senior Responsible Officer, The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital
Impact & Outcomes
Appointment Management was implemented to improve efficiency and patient experience throughout the Trust. Specifically, ROH needed to:
- Reduce DNA rates
- Generate realisable financial savings
- Improve administrative efficiencies
- Digitise outpatient services
Within nine weeks, the overall DNA rate was reduced to 7.1% (35% improvement) in the clinics where DrDoctor is turned on; the estimated 2019-2020 full year equivalent financial benefit for the Trust is over £100,000. This case study describes the onboarding process for DrDoctor’s platform across ROH, the results delivered and the next steps for the partnership.