MESSAGE TO PATIENTS: West Moreton hospital and health service patients will now receive SMS appointment reminders.
MESSAGE TO PATIENTS: West Moreton hospital and health service patients will now receive SMS appointment reminders. David Nielsen

Hospital to send SMS reminders

IPSWICH Hospital patients awaiting surgery can now receive a reminder about their surgical appointment via SMS.

West Moreton Hospital and Health Service introduced the text message provision after a patient survey revealed a need for health officials to improve their communication.

The text message will be used in conjunction with the traditional notification of a letter, keeping patients informed about their appointment.

In November statistics released by West Moreton Hospital and Health Service showed 239 patients did not turn up for their scheduled surgery in 2012-13.

The surgical no-shows put added strain on the hospital's waiting lists.

Patients are now notified of their appointment with letters six and four weeks before the appointment and an SMS sent seven days prior.

West Moreton chief executive Lesley Dwyer said the introduction of SMS reminders was based purely on patient feedback.

"By providing information to our patients using various avenues, we can ensure we provide a health service that is easily accessible for residents," she said.

"Right now, our patients receive appointment letters at six and four weeks out from their appointments.

"With the addition of SMS, patients will receive reminders seven days prior and 24-hours prior to their appointments."

Ms Dwyer said they hoped by working together with our patients the service can continue to improve access to health care.

"The introduction of SMS appointment reminders follows a recent survey conducted of some of our patients where we asked them how we could make it easier for them to make, or change, their appointments," Ms Dwyer said.

"This survey found that there was a definite need for us to provide our patients with more ways for them to contact us. We are now acting this feedback."



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