Innovative Text Reminders

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Innovative Text Reminders Info

People in Newham are to receive texts direct from their GP – giving them immediate access to vital health information – following the introduction of a new clinical messaging system at Woodgrange Medical Practice in Forest Gate.

AccuRx Chain SMS allows GPs to send text messages directly to patients, reducing the need for letters and phone calls and giving patients immediate access to information they need.

Dr Muhammed Naqvi, a GP at the practice and Chair of NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:

"This is a really efficient way of communicating with our patients. I can directly message my patients, providing instant access to information to help them access screening, provide links to self–help portals that are relevant to their needs and empower them to take charge of their health.

image of patient receiving a text message reminder

“Not only does using AccuRx mean I can communicate directly with my patients, it is also helping the surgery to become more efficient and better meet the needs of our local population by reducing the need for clinical administrative support – freeing up staff so they can focus on longer more complex tasks.

“This means that rather than having to email practice staff to ask them to contact the patient on my behalf, I can directly contact my patients.

“The practice has already been rated as ‘outstanding’ by the CQC and we are really excited to be able to continue to develop and improve our services, to enhance the care we provide and the experience for our patients.”

Evaluation has shown significant benefits to using this new text messaging approach, with patients no longer having to call or go to the surgery to check if a prescription is ready as they can now be sent a text confirmation instead.

Patients are also sent appointment reminders by text. Over a three-month period, the Woodgrange team – GPs, nurses and admin staff – sent almost 5,000 SMS messages through AccuRx, saving an estimated two hours’ clinical and administrative time per day.

Chris Riley, IT Project Manager at Newham CCG, said:

“We have been working with all our local GP practices to implement digital innovations, such as AccuRx, in order to deliver a modern GP service that is fit for the future.

“We believe that having surgeries such as Woodgrange championing the introduction of new software helps to maximise its use and fully demonstrate the benefits of a more efficient, technology-driven service. We are committed to continuing to work with local practices to introduce and implement high-quality services for local people.

“We congratulate all of the surgeries across Newham that have now adopted AccuRx as it has taken real commitment to integrate it into daily practice, but is now proving to have significant benefits.

“We will continue to work with and support our local practices to introduce and implement services that allow us to adapt to changing needs of the population we serve.”

Nadia Caceres, Health and Social Care Management Trainee at Newham CCG, who has been leading the evaluation on the benefits of AccuRx in primary care practice in Newham, said: “GPs and patients alike have reported the real, tangible difference using direct text messaging has made on a daily basis within general practice in the borough.

“AccuRx has provided a platform to meet the needs of the ever-growing demand for primary care in today’s fast-moving, busy world, where quick access to information is vital.”