Digitising Outpatient pathways: Waiting well, PEPs, PIFU and beyond

12th March 2024

by John Clarke

Across the UK, families rely on the NHS for help with their health issues. The old-fashioned approach where doctors made all the decisions is disappearing, now patients are encouraged to take an active role in their healthcare. But, as more people need care and there aren’t enough resources, patients are waiting longer for treatment. Some patients anxiously wait for news about their referrals. Other patients put aside their appointment letter and, due to the long waiting times, appointments are forgotten.

There’s a better way. A way to simplify communication, regardless of age or condition. A way to enable hospitals to provide world-class engagement and empower patients with choice, every single time.

Imagine a world where communication with your healthcare provider is as easy as sending a text message. Where hospitals can tailor their approach to each individual patient, ensuring they receive the right information at the right time. This is the future that we are working towards, where patients have more control over their healthcare journey and experience world-class engagement every step of the way.

At Netcall we are supporting healthcare providers in optimising the outpatient pathway – focusing on developing solutions that streamline communication, empower patients and ultimately improve the overall healthcare experience. By implementing innovative technology and tools, hospitals can better manage referrals, appointment bookings and post-appointment support – leading to more efficient and effective care for patients.

Waiting well

A key aspect of improving the outpatient pathway is referral management and helping patients to “wait well”. Hospitals can ensure that patients receive timely updates and notifications about their referral status by utilising technologies such as our Waiting Well solution. This automates and streamlines the referral process, alleviating patient anxiety and reducing the number of inbound calls from patients who are checking up on their referral status.

Appointment booking is another area where solutions can have a significant impact. Hospitals can increase patient engagement and reduce the likelihood of missed appointments by providing patients with the ability to book appointments online via a patient engagement portal. Netcall’s Patient Hub provides flexibility which benefits patients but also helps hospitals to manage their appointment scheduling more efficiently. By automating such critical and repetitive tasks, staff are freed up to focus on work which adds more value.

Post-appointment support via digital channels is also essential in ensuring that patients receive the necessary information and follow-up care after their appointments. Hospitals can ensure that patients have the support they need to effectively manage their health and continue their healthcare journey with a solution that provides personalised follow-up communication. Our PIFU (Patient Initiated Follow-up) module in Patient Hub helps NHS teams move faster towards transitioning or discharging more of their outpatient attendances to PIFU pathways.

Optimising the outpatient pathway

The outpatient pathway is being optimised like never before, thanks to the power of technology. By embracing these innovative solutions, hospitals are able to provide better communication, empower patients, and ultimately improve outcomes for all.

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“At Netcall, we are dedicated to making it easier for hospitals to communicate with patients. Our goal is to support smooth digital interactions, empowering patients to play a more active role in their healthcare journey. Our solutions streamline referral management, appointment booking and post-appointment support. Patients receive timely information and can respond via their preferred channel.”

John Clarke

Head of Client Solutions Health, Netcall

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