Every health trust is looking for ways to reduce costs through improved efficiencies. It's estimated that did not attends (DNAs) across NHS hospital outpatient appointments are costing the NHS in excess of £745m* per year.
Whether it is outpatient appointments or hospital admissions, reducing DNAs can save money by maximising patient throughput and improving patient satisfaction through shortening the patient pathway.
When considering how to reduce DNAs you must first understand the reason for non-attendance. The 2 most common reasons cited are:
- Patients forgetting or are unable to make appointments
- Clerical errors or a breakdown in communications which results in the patient being unaware of the appointment
One key way to make sure patients don't forget their appointments is to have an automated reminder system than links into your patient administration system (PAS) and any other relevant backend data repository. Successful systems are likely to be easy to use, automate the vast majority of the process and can handle multiple requirements such as reminders, attendance, cancellations and re-bookings.
Secondly, having a reminder system in place also helps fix clerical errors or breakdown in communications as patients are reminded in advance of the appointments and any discrepancies or issues can be highlighted and resolved ahead of time.
Netcall has implemented DNA solutions for 1 in 3 NHS Trusts including The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust who saw their DNA rates fall 24.4% to 6.5% in the first 12 months. North Staffordshire NHS saved an estimated £1m per year and got a return on their investment in just two weeks. To hear more about how North Staffordshire saved money watch the video here or to find out more about Netcall's solutions for Health.