Upon Receipt of the SMS, the Patient Can Reply (via SMS) to Confirm, Reject or Change the Appointment
Alexandra Health (Khoo Teck Puat Hospital) Case Study
About Alexandra Health (AH)
Established on 1 April 2008, Alexandra Health is a new healthcare cluster that currently comprises the 550-bed general and acute care Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) and Jurong Medical Centre (JMC). KTPH is a public restructured hospital in the north of Singapore, serving the healthcare needs of more than 570,000 people living and working in the region. The team from Alexandra Health managed Alexandra Hospital prior to 1 August 2010 and brings to KTPH and JMC the same patient-centric focus and high standards in all aspects of patient care.
The Challenge: to find an affordable and efficient solution to manage the Large volume of patient appointments
Alexandra Hospital was a public hospital seeing large numbers of patients daily. It was imperative to manage the appointment system efficiently and accurately. On average, the hospital saw 300 patients a day at the Specialist Outpatient Clinics. Previously, one of the modes of sending out appointment reminders was through phone calls to patients made from the call centre. As the number of patients increased, this not only led to lower productivity but also higher operation costs. To ensure greater efficiency for the benefit of patients as well as to reduce the call-rates in the call-centre, Alexandra Hospital began to explore the option of a using SMS, as a low-cost solution, for appointment reminders.
"...our 2-way SMS appointment reminder system is hassle-free...Patients are not required to call back and wait to be served, nor are they restricted by our hotline's operating hours. Patients can reply to the SMS for confirmation or change of appointments. The fully automated system frees up our resources which translates to lower total costs for us."
Ms. Ong Poh Suan
Assistant Manager, Operations Dept, KTPH
The Solution: sendQuick Entera
After evaluating a list of vendors and proposed solutions, Alexandra Hospital chose sendQuick Entera, which could complement the existing internal systems and SAP software to achieve better and quicker results. In the new workflow, the SAP software generates the appointment reminder record with the relevant data such as the patient's name, mobile number and appointment date/time. The sendQuick server then receives the record, merges thet date/time. The sendQuick server then receives the record, merges the data and sends the SMS to the patient. Upon receipt of the SMS, the patient can reply (via SMS) to confirm, reject or change the appointment.
The solution provided for a fully automated system and browser with a specific message template and is virtually maintenance-free. Staff can easily make use of sendQuick to streamline their work processes and enhance productivity.
The Result: efficient patient appointment reminders at Lower total cost of ownership
In February 2009, Alexandra Hospital became the first hospital in Singapore to deploy a fully automated 2-way SMS appointment reminder system. After the roll-out, there was a marked improvement in patient attendances and a more efficient process for scheduling of appointments. Patients were pleased to receive timely reminders via SMS, which is less intrusive. Overall, the call-rates in the call-centre were reduced and this has translated into a lower total operating cost.
With the opening of KTPH in March 2010, the same system was deployed. Being a larger hospital, the positive impact and benefits of using this system was more marked, with greater cost savings and better efficiency.