Barts Hospital and the London Hospital NHS Trust has saved nearly £1m a year with an automatic appointment reminder text service.
The Orange Health Gateway service, powered by mobile health networks company iPlato, has resulted in 6,563 fewer missed appointments between August 2010 to July 2011. Each missed appointment costs the NHS roughly £150. The service costs around £33,000 per year to run.
The Trust sends approximately 2,000 texts each day and receives around 100 replies requesting to cancel or reschedule appointments.
Gregory Bird, deputy general manager at Barts and the London NHS Trust, said: “This two-way communication helps save time and hospital resources, and the cancelled appointments can be re-allocated to another patient. The service allows us to optimise attendance rates and better manage capacity and demand.”