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Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust plans to implement a booking system which will let patients book and cancel hospital appointments online.
The system, from DrDoctor, will enable patients to book, change or cancel outpatient appointments online and receive reminders by email or text.
Implementing the system is the first step in the trust’s plans for a digital portal for patients, said Simon Lilley, commercial director at Yeovil Hospital.
“As with many NHS organisations, we rely heavily on paper and telephone-based communication with patients. Our vision is to give people the option of using a digital portal to manage all their health and care needs,” he said.
“The first step will give Yeovil Hospital’s outpatients the flexibility to manage their appointments, putting them in control and allowing them to book at a time to suit them.”
Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is implementing the system in stages. The first phase, due to go live in January 2016, will allow outpatients to book appointments online or via smartphone or tablet devices.
The trust will then add further developments, such as a fully online and text-based booking and appointment reminder system for patients across the hospital and the wider health economy.
“This move will place Yeovil ahead of the curve in terms of using digital technology to communicate with patients,” said Lilley.
Yeovil is part of one of 29 vanguard areas chosen by NHS England to work on joining up health and care in an attempt to help close the widening funding gap in the NHS, which could rise to £30bn by 2021.
Earlier in 2015, Yeovil signed a contract with InterSystems for its TrakCare electronic patient record (EPR) system, which will be rolled out at the trust in the next two years.
The TrakCare system is beginning to take hold in the English EPR market, and is widely used in Scotland where it covers around 70% of the population.