Interactive SMS solutions have cut the time and resources spent in scheduling at Finnish and German health clinics. The number of calls made by the departments using the service has dropped significantly, in one case by 60 percent.
Finnish public healthcare organizations have used SMS based services for several years. In one hospital alone, the Pre-Call Request service from Tieto has reduced changed appointments by 20 percent, an equivalent of the annual workload of nine nurses.
The Pre-Call Request contacts the patient to request a suitable appointment date before scheduling. This enables the patient to take responsibility for their access to care while also reducing the need to reschedule.
German clinics have also started using SMS in scheduling. Appointment confirmations and reminders are sent by SMS, reducing the number of calls significantly. Upon cancellations, the service also finds and contacts a replacement patient.
Certainly SMS based patient services contribute to administrative efforts, but clinicians also are seeing more efficiency. Throughout the departments, savings in time and resources have been transferred to patient care.