iPLATO Healthcare, the leader in mHealth, announced today that two practices at the Dunbar Medical Centre in east Lothian recently became the first GP Surgeries in Scotland to launch iPLATO Patient Care Messaging. In response to patient preferences for mobile communication in primary care the system is expected to reduce waiting times for GP appointments and enable GP-led, personalised and timely public health promotion.
According to Edinburgh Evening News last year around 124,000 people missed a hospital or GP appointment across NHS Lothian at a cost of nearly £17 million. Ultimately funded by NHS Lothian this initiative seeks to improve access to primary care services as well as drive efficiencies and reduce costs.
In a statement from the two GP surgeries, the partners say “We are pleased to have the opportunity to pilot this service on behalf of East Lothian CHP (Community Health Partnership), to see if we can improve communication between practice and patients. It should make it easier to remind our patients when check-ups are due, and so lead to improved care for long-term conditions which need regular review. Receiving reminders is free of charge to the patient. We encourage all our patients to hand in their mobile phone number to us so that they can benefit from this service.”
“Launching in Lothian with two of the practices at the Dunbar Medical Centre is a big, long term, opportunity for us but also for patients, healthcare professionals and payers in Scotland,” says Tobias Alpsten, Managing Director at iPLATO. “Across a patient population comparable to Scotland’s, iPLATO Patient Care Messaging freed up more than 100,000 GP appointments last year through SMS cancellations alone. Based on our experiences elsewhere, iPLATO Patient Care Messaging should be able to save NHS Scotland more than 200,000 GP appointments per year if deployed nationally. The smart public health promotion enabled by iPLATO Patient Care Messaging further adds to its appeal.”