Netcall, a leading supplier of software solutions to the NHS, is pleased to announce that following two recent contract wins, one in five of the NHS Acute Trusts and Health Boards in the UK are implementing applications from its award winning Appointment Management Cycle (AMC) to combat "Did not attend" (DNA) rates and manage their appointment systems in the healthcare market.
The pressure on the NHS is growing as patients' expectations are rising; regulators impose lower budgets and demand better service, while care itself is getting more complex. The health sector has found itself having to manage patients cost effectively rather than focus solely on curing them.
High DNA rates caused by the public not attending their appointments, which have been discussed extensively in the national media, are a major drain on resources, costing the NHS Trusts in the region of £700m a year. "The health service is caught between a rock and a hard place" (BBC, 2013) but the use of technology can be one of its greatest allies. As part of this, Patient Communication is expected to be one of the top three areas of future NHS IT spend, according to a recent report from EH Insider. Netcall's AMC innovatively deals with missed appointments, leading to fewer cancellations and re-scheduling, resulting in better time management for staff, an enhanced patient experience and a significant reduction in associated costs.
With two new signings of the AMC this year, Netcall has become the main provider of appointment management technology to the NHS. More than 70% of UK Acute Trusts and Health Boards now use Netcall's applications to manage patient communication and data, with eight of the eleven mainland Scottish Health Boards trusting Netcall's AMC to help them save resources and improve patient service.
The judging panel of Building Better Healthcare Awards, 2012, headed by Roy Lilley, NHS Commentator: "This seems a simple solution, but it really makes a difference to the patient experience and to the number of missed appointments, saving the health service a lot of money."
Mark Holmes, Sales Director, Netcall: "The Did Not Attend (DNA) is a traditional method of performance measurement within the NHS and reducing the DNA rates a crucial step towards creating significant costs savings. Netcall's AMC has been developed around our NHS customers' needs and personalised according to the demands of each hospital; empowering them to 'Remind, Rebook and Refill' appointments efficiently. It also includes a variety of communication channels which enable Trusts to reach out to the younger, permanently on-the-go generation, one of the most problematic age groups when it comes to remembering their appointments."
Key facts about DNAs
- Over 50% of 'no-shows′ is down to simple forgetfulness.
- Hospital appointment no-shows cost over £100 per patient in lost revenue. (BBC News, 2013)
- The national ′Did Not Attend′ (DNA) rate for all booked appointments is over 10%. (NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement)
- Mondays are worst for missed appointments, but over the course of the week attendance steadily improves. Fridays have the fewest no-shows. (University of Glasgow)
- Seven out of 100 out-patients failed to attend a consultation. (Health and Social Care Information Centre)
- The worst perpetrators were men, particularly those in their 20s. (Metro, 2013)
The Appointment Management Cycle suite of products is specifically designed for the NHS by Netcall to empower hospitals to 'Remind, Rebook and Refill' appointments. The award winning technology can help in freeing staff from tedious work, allowing them to dedicate their time to those in need and cut costs though automation and data management.
At the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust the Outpatients department has already seen a decrease in DNA'S resulting in savings of £322,000. Chelsea and Westminster Hospital has reported savings of £72,000 per month, the Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust DNA rate was reduced by 25% and annual savings of £1,000,000 have been reported by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
AMC innovatively and cost-effectively deals with missed appointments across hospitals and departments, leading to a great improve in the quality of service provided to patients and enhancing the overall patient experience through less cancellations and rescheduling of appointments. Patients are reminded of the date, time and hospital, as well as asked whether they will attend, want to cancel or rebook.
Netcall's Appointment Management Solution (AMC) has been highly commended at the Building Better Healthcare Awards 2012 in the Best Technology for Improving Productivity. It was also selected as a finalist in the IT Healthcare Product Innovation category of the EHI Awards 2012, recognising and rewarding the finest in UK healthcare IT and the excellent work being done in the UK's healthcare industry.