The hospital worked on a joint project with Personify Care and Healthcare Logic to use digital patient pathways to communicate patient appointments, replacing traditional phone calls and letters.
Three weeks prior to their clinic appointment, patients from a list generated by Healthcare Logic’s SystemView are invited to a Personify Care pathway. It sends their preparation needs and notifies their upcoming appointment. It also alerts staff in advance of patients who are rescheduling or unable to attend.
Since running the pilot of the digital pathway project, RAH saw failure-to-attend rates at the Outpatients Orthopedics unit go down by 56%.
Based on a media release, there were four areas identified as its success factors: simple patient list generation via SystemView and automatic/bulk invitation; high patient response rates to the digital pathway; automated patient screening; and executive support for staff in the reallocation of appointment slots.
RAH is now expanding the project to other clinical units with relatively high FTA rates, said RAH Central Outpatient Project Manager Ashleigh Wilhelm-Plumley. The scope of digital pathways is also being expanded to reduce review rates caused by patients arriving unprepared for their appointment.
THE LARGER TREND
The Central Adelaide Local Health Network, of which RAH is a part, started implementing Personify Care digital pathways in 2021 as a proof of concept. It was deployed in over 20 specialty areas and at RAH, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and SA Dental. The digital pathways, the network said, have enabled the delivery of personalised and accurate patient appointments and the ability to measure patient experience, among noted benefits. RAH has also been using digital pathways to reduce cancellations in elective surgery, as well as workload pressures.
Personify Care is now extending its digital pathways across the entire South Australia over the next two years after bagging a A$5.6 million ($3.7 million) contract from SA Health.