Dunbar Medical Centre launches first Patient Care Messaging in Scotland

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.”

Hammersmith and Fulham PCT use SMS to help smokers quit

Hammersmith and Fulham PCT use SMS to help smokers quit

Wednesday 14th October 2009

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GP practices in NHS Hammersmith and Fulham have used text messaging to collect information on patients’ smoking status and invite patients for smoking cessation advice.

The primary care trust used iPlato’s Patient Care messaging system to send text messages to 6,085 patients from 22 surgeries requesting a patient’s smoking status.

Of those patients, 45% responded to the request with a valid status with one practice receiving valid responses from 57% of patients sent the message. Replies came back as an email to the GP surgery.

The PCT found that 80% of respondents replied with three hours of receiving the message and 95% within 24 hours.

Find out more about using SMS to quit smoking