Wed 2nd Oct, 2019

How are SMS reminders increasing attendance, hitting targets and reducing costs?

Data published in The Lancet, The BMJ and most recently National Institute of Health Research has confirmed that using SMS reminders for screening, clinic attendance and health checks has dramatically increased uptake and reduced DNAs across primary care.

SMS reminders have long been popular across many sectors, with them becoming increasingly popular in primary care over the past few years. However, until recently there was little published data to prove the theory that SMS reminders increased uptake of primary care appointments. The published data has proven that SMS reminders increase uptake in three of the NHS’ key target areas; cancer screening, health checks and clinic reminders (such as flu clinics).

iPLATO has a wealth of experience in providing SMS reminders within primary care, having delivered services across the country, iPLATO provides patient appointment reminders that Read Code into all major clinical systems.

Looking beyond routine appointment reminders, iPLATO has worked with several CCGs as well as Public Health England to provide SMS reminders for a range of NHS screening projects, these include diabetic screening, cervical screening, bowl cancer screening and breast screening.

iPLATO’s Engagement Hub is able to extract mobile phone numbers from the practice clinical system, enabling iPLATO to send a GP endorsed SMS on behalf of the GP surgery. These SMS reminders have increased uptake across all cancer screenings. A recent project with Public Health England, NHSE&I and Jo’s Cancer Trust increased screening uptake across London by almost 5%, resulting in over 13000 more women being screened across the capital after 18 weeks.

By using a multi-channel approach, The Engagement Hub is able to offer SMS reminders combined with GP letters and follow-up telephone calls to achieve NHS targets. By using this approach, not only is uptake increased, allowing practices and CCGs to achieve targets, but it is possible to understand the reasons why people do not attend appointments, further allowing assessment of screening programmes and their communications approach in specific areas.

If you want more information on how The Engagement Hub can help you achieve screening and healthcheck targets then contact or call 020 3743 0060