King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (KCHT) has signed a deal with Healthcare Communications to implement a suite of solutions under its ‘digital by default’ patient engagement strategy.
The contract was agreed in August and will run until 2025, and includes the trust using the company’s Patient Portal, eClinic video consultation platform and eight systems from its patient engagement platform.
Healthcare Communications said that eClinic will help to reduce the number of patients visiting KCHT hospitals for non-emergency appointments, and includes file sharing, a chat function and translation feature.
It can also be used for urgent care for patients who cannot attend in person.
The portal will enable patient initiated follow-ups (PIFUs) and is expected to help the trust reduce the number of phone calls it receives, allowing patients to confirm, cancel or rebook appointments.
Other features scheduled for implementation include an appointment scheduling bot, instant patient messages and virtual assistants.
Exploring patient ownership
Charlotte English, senior improvement lead at King’s College Hospital, said: “We’re dealing with a significant amount of referral to treatment requests, which has been exacerbated by Covid, so it’s really exciting to be exploring ways in which patients can take more ownership over their care, such as PIFU. We hadn’t really explored this before, and we expect it to reduce our follow-up waiting lists.
“We’re hoping it will also result in a drop in hospital admissions, which would be fantastic, especially as we enter our winter pressures and with the second wave of Covid looking imminent.”
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