Newsroom 07 July 2020

Sheffield parents and carers set to spend more time with unwell children

Sheffield-childrens-hospital reception

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is taking the pain and time out of appointment management with a new online portal

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, one of only three UK dedicated children’s hospital trusts, is due to trial a new digital portal for young patients and their parents. This is a key part of the Trust’s ongoing mission to provide higher-quality patient experience whilst reducing admin.

Parents and carers with poorly children have a tough job. When their focus should be looking after a sick child, keeping up with the endless appointments’ admin adds unnecessary stress. In light of this, Sheffield Children’s is making the appointment management process much easier by introducing Patient Hub, an online portal where parents can confirm, re-book or cancel hospital outpatient appointments at their own convenience, 24 hours a day. Powered by Netcall, a leading provider of low-code and customer engagement solutions, the portal makes the right information available, at the right time, so that guardians can carry out medical admin more easily.

Easy, convenient, secure
Patient Hub builds on the previous success of Sheffield Children’s appointment-handling initiatives, which has seen parents receive reminders by SMS or email. The portal provides 24/7 access to many clinical specialities in a quick and simple way, enabling parents to easily and securely log on when they have a spare moment. They will also be able to access additional appointment information, leaflets and communications in an easy-to-use, accessible and secure environment on a mobile or laptop.

Dan Gibb, Business Change Lead, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, enthuses: “Our aim is to make it easier for parents and carers to focus on their children. The Patient Hub opens up new digital services, too; for example, our exciting new Pre-Op service – which enables guardians to supply vital information to physicians ahead of surgery. Using the questionnaire functionality, parents can address important queries from home, where all the right information is to hand. This tool provides an alternative method to answering questions relating to care before a procedure and aims to reduce stress around administration before coming into the hospital.”

An added safety net included
Patient Hub will enable Sheffield Children’s to transform its appointment processes further. Not only does it send digital copies of the letters and leaflets to patients, but it also issues an appointment letter in the post to anyone that has not accessed their appointment via the Hub within a given time frame.

Dan Gibb explains: “We expect that this new service will further increase the patient experience and bring benefits to the Trust. Instead of waiting weeks for parents to respond to a letter, with Patient Hub, we will know if the child is able to attend their appointment almost immediately. If parents need to reschedule, this opens up a free space for another child and reduces their waiting time. In addition, with the implementation of the portal, the Trust will see a reduction in its paper and postage costs. We are looking forward to going live in 2020.”

Mark Holmes, Chief Sales Offices at Netcall, adds: “We are delighted to be supporting Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust with its ongoing patient experience improvement journey. We have a really strong heritage of working with Trusts to solve problems with their processes, making sure every available appointment is used. Using low-code technology within the appointment process is a key area that brings big savings, and quickly. Not only will the portal make life easier for Sheffield Children’s parents, but it will also reduce the admin and cost burden on the hospital. It is one of a number of Trusts working with Netcall, which is already experiencing up to a 40% reduction in Did Not Attends (DNAs). That’s a huge saving and is vital in improving patient access, whilst helping practices make the best use of clinicians’ time.”

To learn more, watch the video below or visit our Patient Hub page.


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