Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber trial sees improved efficiencies

Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust has completed a six-month pilot with Accurx, and found the technology introduced more efficient processes, better communication and improved patient experience.

The pilot was run across eight community services, following on from a successful partnership with Doncaster Primary Care Services which supported communication between patients and healthcare staff via SMS and video.

Dr Satya Raghuvanshi, head of clinical at Accurx, said: It’s often perceived that to achieve widespread change across an organisation, complex systems or processes need to be put in place. But actually, we see time and time again that simple tech, like SMS or email messaging, can lead to vast improvements.”

A number of Accurx products were used in the new pilot to improve communications. Patient Messaging was used to send documents, letters, links, surveys, and to receive text and photo responses.

Video Consultations were used for 1:1 and group remote clinics. Finally, messages and documents were able to be sent directly to a patient’s GP with Message GP.

Following the pilot, Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber evaluated the technology and found that it helped improve patient experience and their connection with their care.

Healthcare staff felt that video consultations helped build rapport with patients better than telephone calls. While digital messaging and reminders were simpler and more flexible compared to their analogue counterparts.

There was also significant time savings for processes too. Appointment reminders could be sent in just 20 minutes, compared to two hours previously.

The technology also automatically integrated with SystmOne which removed the need to copy and paste messages into the EPR, saving around one minute per message to primary care. In addition, digital care plans were received up to five days quicker than paper letters.

Angie Wheeler, manager in the Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber Telephone Nursing Service, said: “Some people we used to ring monthly just to get weight readings. Now we can text them to get these and it saves us so much time and it’s better for the patients because they don’t always want to talk.” 

Back in September University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust saw its waiting lists fall by 10% after it introduced Accurx’s patient SMS system.