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Patient appointment letters go digital

Patients at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH) can now expect to receive their letters digitally.

The Trust has integrated their appointment letters printing service, by Synertec, with the DrDoctor text messaging service. When an appointment text message is sent to a patient, an electronic copy of their appointment letter will be sent to the DrDoctor Patient Portal to allow for it to be viewed electronically. Patients, or their parent/guardian, follow a link in the text message to view the letter.

If after three days, the letter has not been viewed electronically, the letter will be printed and sent via the Synertec posting method. This will hopefully lead to more appointment letters being viewed using the DrDoctor portal, meaning less printing required. The Digital Letters project has built upon our successful appointment text reminder service with DrDoctor and also our offsite printing service provided by Synertec. The integration piece enabled within the Digital Letters enables staff to monitor if a patient has opened their letter online via Dr Doctor within a certain timeframe and thus prevent the need for the paper copy to be sent.

You can read more about ROH's other work with DrDoctor here.

The Trust went live with its digital patient letters project in October 2020.

Gavin Newman, Digital Programme Manager at ROH, said: “Previously we posted all appointment letters, but this new digital initiative opens the door to patients being able to view and review their letters digitally at any time and without waiting for the post.

“Patients will receive a text message notifying them that they have a new appointment letter to view online. Then they follow the link in the text message, which takes them to a secure patient portal where they verify their identity with name, date-of-birth and postcode. A one-time code is sent to their mobile and then they click to view and download their letter.

“This continues to build upon our relationship with both providers and has further strengthened our goal to significantly improve our digital growth and reduce our paper output as part of our long-term strategy.”