In the beginning of October 2011, the Tajo Hospital in Madrid started implementing an SMS reminder system for medical appointments.
This new means of communication has been made possible as a result of a new mobile device application that was developed by the hospital's Admissions Service and IT Department. This new software sends an SMS which notifies patients of the date, approximate time and exact location of a consultation 48 hours before the scheduled appointment.
This will help patients remember their planned appointments with specialists as well as the arrangement of new appointments; patients that are unable to attend a doctor's appointment on a given date and time can call the appropriate service and cancel, thus allowing the hospital to fill cancelled time slots and provide enhanced service as a result.
At the end of September 2011, the first SMS were sent notifying patients of October appointments in the Paediatric Services. The remaining hospital services intend to begin the notification procedure on a gradual basis.
The hospital dealt with 137 866 consultations in 2010 as compared to 124 819 in 2009, representing an increase of 10.5 %. The total number of patients that missed scheduled medical consultations was 10 245 and 10 383 in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
The hospital is committed to the take-up of new technologies that have given rise to the latest information dissemination formats in immediate, engaging and interactive ways.
Note: Original article in Spanish published in the Health Portal of the Autonomous Community of Madrid. Translation performed by the ePractice Editorial Team.