Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) is trialing a new automated messaging service that will support appointment reminders in the hospital’s Day Surgery and Ambulatory Care clinics as
well as all services provided throughout the Diagnostic Imaging department, effective December 14.
This new functionality, known as ‘Notify,’ is part of NHH’s Clinical Information System (CIS), which initially launched December 2021 at NHH and across hospital partners in Ontario’s central east region.
The NHH reminders—a prerecorded voice message or text—are currently being issued two days prior to a patient’s scheduled appointment in either the Day Surgery or Ambulatory Care clinics. Building on a small trial of computed tomography patients, all patients scheduled for appointments in NHH’s Diagnostic Imaging department will also begin receiving the reminders, effective December 14.
Recipients have the ability to enable automated reminders as a text message, phone call or both, but must call in to the appropriate team directly to cancel an existing appointment.
“From the patient’s perspective, the aim of the ‘Notify’ service is to provide those we serve with a reminder prior to their scheduled appointments. We’re hopeful it will be especially beneficial to those who may have forgotten an appointment booked prior, or those who need to re-confirm travel arrangements or reschedule,” said Jennifer Gillard, VP, Patient Experience, Public Affairs and Strategic Partnerships.
“We are also hoping to minimize the number of missed appointments and ‘no shows.’ When patients are able to cancel an appointment with advance notice, that spot may be offered to someone else and further reduce overall wait times for care.”
NHH will monitor feedback and expand (or adjust) the new service as required. The hospital encourages all those who receive one of the new appointment reminders to share their feedback. Feedback on this and any other element of care received at NHH and our community mental health care program is welcomed through the Patient and Caregiver Experience Survey. Find a link to that Survey on our website and throughout the hospital at the point of care