How to reduce DNAs by 38% in just 6 months

The DNA rate has a double effect. There is no financial income from missed appointments, plus valuable consultants are not being fully utilised.

Project highlights

  • £322,000 savings in six months
  • Trust-wide DNA rate reduced to just 4.84%
  • Outpatient DNA reduced by 38%

30,000 missed appointments were wasting millions

Across all specialities, Ipswich Hospital (now part of the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust) was experiencing DNA (Did Not Attend) rates of between 6% and 7%.

Despite routinely sending appointment reminder letters to patients, there was no process for patients to confirm whether they were attending or not. The poor DNA rates equated to over 30,000 missed appointments per year and a cost more than £2.8 million, every single year.

The DNA rate has a double effect. There is no financial income from missed appointments, plus valuable consultants were not being fully utilised. They urgently needed to reduce DNAs.

Reminder calls and texts

Ipswich Hospital selected a range of solutions from Netcall to tackle this, plus help them to deal with other issues at the same time. Liberty Converse, our omnichannel contact centre solution, was installed along with its ContactPortal™ and Remind+ modules. ContactPortal™ is our sophisticated speech bot for streamlining your call handling service. Remind+ is an automated voice and text message appointment reminder solution.

The initial trial phase involved three departments, including Outpatients. It was such a clear success, it went live a month later.

An additional five specialities went live a few months later with a plan to roll out across all remaining specialities. Now patients receive an automated reminder call to their mobile, followed by a text reminder two days prior to the appointment.

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Reduce DNAs to just 4.84%

Within weeks of going live, the benefits of Remind+ were obvious and dramatic. The Outpatients department was able to reduce DNA rates from 7.64% to 6.42% in two months, and within months it fell to 4.84%. It continues to drop.

This brings huge annual savings each year. Ipswich Hospital was aiming for a £500,000 annual saving, this was met, exceeded and will continue for years to come.

Within six months, the Hospital had realised £322,000 savings. They have been able to reduce their DNA rate across the Trust to just 4.84%. In Outpatients, they have been able to reduce DNAs by a staggering 38%.

We knew that Remind+ would reduce our DNAs, but we were and continue to be pleasantly surprised by the actual results. Departments such as Endoscopy have seen substantial increases in patient attendance. When it’s noticed on ‘the shop floor’, we know that we are moving in the right direction.

Learn more about Liberty Converse and Patient Hub.

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