Netcall | Customer Story

Reducing missed appointments


Project highlights 

  • ROI achieved in 5 weeks 
  • Hospital DNA rate reduced by between 20% to 40% 
  • Generated a saving of £460,000 during the trial period 
  • Patient data does not leave hospital site 
  • Recurring DNA savings of up to £1 million per annum

Reduce the hospital DNA rate

‘Did Not Attend’ (DNA) rates are a problem for many hospitals and NHS Trusts. Sheffield Teaching Hospitals DNA rate was 7.6% for new patients and 8.9% for follow-ups. And the average cost for each DNA was £101. 

They had tried text reminders and had variable success. An effective appointment reminder solution was urgently needed to manage reminders for 850,000 appointments per year. 

Of course, primarily the hospital wanted to ensure that all patients received their required care in a timely manner. But it was also important financially to prevent wasted appointment slots. These slots could be re-utilised for other patients, which assists with both objectives.  

Voice and text reminders

Remind+ is a feature of Liberty Converse, Netcall’s omnichannel contact centre and chatbot solution. This automated voice and text message appointment reminder capability reminds patients about upcoming appointments and allows them to confirm attendance, cancel or rebook.

It has a highly configurable architecture built on years of experience, to maximise patient responses. Specific departments can implement subtle changes to the messaging, generating huge improvements in response rates. 

Remind+ can also gather information, in real time, about whether the patient intends to attend, re-book or cancel the appointment. It works from either landline or mobile phones. This allows Trust to re-book any cancelled appointment times. Patient data does not leave the hospital site, so there is no issue with data protection regulations. 

This flexible solution works really well across a whole Trust and can have a fantastic impact on reducing hospital DNA rates. 

A solution which pays for itself

The initial six-week trial at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals was very successful, generating a reduction in the hospital DNA rate of between 20% and 40%. Over a full year, this equates to savings of £460,000. Each subsequent year. 

During the trial, Remind+ called over 30,000 patients. 4.8% of these patients indicated that they would not attend their appointment. So, over 1,000 appointment slots were able to be re-allocated to other patients. 

Of the patients who could not attend, 61% wanted to re-book for another time. Their response was reported by Remind+ and a member of staff then called them back to rearrange their appointment. 

After five weeks of using Remind+, the solution had already paid for itself. This fantastic return on investment is underscored by the fact that on-going costs are minimal. Projections for annual savings show that up to £1 million could be saved every year at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals by reducing the hospital DNA rate with Remind+.

“Presently we are aiming to obtain a 30% DNA reduction, which should equate to £1 million saving per year for the Trust. Like all solutions we have encountered teething problems and have proposed modifications to the core system. Netcall staff responded to these requests and these system changes should help us to further improve our DNA reduction.” 

— Paul Harriman, Assistant Director 

Learn more about how we help the NHS.

Popular Blog Posts

You might also like