A new patient reminder service is being trialled for outpatient appointments in gastroenterology, neurology and dermatology. It involves patients receiving a recorded phone message seven days beforehand which asks them to either confirm they can attend, request a change of appointment or speak to a member of staff. NHS Forth Valley Health Records Services Manager Emma Hamilton said: “The introduction of this new reminder system should help reduce the number of people who fail to show up for an appointment because they have either forgotten or they can no longer attend. Enabling patients to pick a date and appointment time which suits them will also help especially for those with specific work commitments, holidays or transport issues.”
A text message reminder will also be sent to mobile phone numbers a few days before the appointment date as an additional reminder and a local telephone number will appear on caller display (01324 566249) to help avoid any potential confusion with unwanted sales or marketing calls.
Similar systems are already being used in several other Health Boards in Scotland and, if the initial trial is successful, the plan is to roll out the reminder system for all outpatient appointments at hospitals across Forth Valley.