Hi. We are investigating the use of SMS text messaging on Mobile phones to remind patients of appointments. Has anyone else looked into this or using a similar system?
posted on Monday, May 24, 2004 - 05:50 pm
There are several hospital around that have the system in place.
Key word searches on google produce a lot. I found one company that was providing the service free of charge... I think you know why !
However depending on how backward your data protection policy is will dictate how far you can take it.
Comments I have had so far
"What if you send a gynae appointment and a mother notices on her childs phone"
I personally have some imaginative ideas on this
1) Firstly before you send a message get the patients consent "Are you happy to receive a reminder via TEXT MESSAGE ?"
2) You send a message that is quite general
"Don't forget your appointment on 15/6 at 5pm" "You have an appointment at 3'oclock on the 12th"
And you know what is really great, you can now using the NHSmail service to text people for free. We already have a system in place that sends text messages to consultants to inform them that a result is on the system (we also use pageOne)
Keep asking questions and I will help you as much as I can
[Sean Brennan ] Kirsten I am aware of a company who has this sort of software in 30 Trusts. I appreciate that this network shouldn't be used to "advertise" specific products so if you want to contact me off-line, I can put you in touch = with some of the Trusts.
The Norfolk and Norwich have used it, at least as a pilot, for general OP visits but not for Radiology. Not sure of the current status of the project but if you email me I can put you in touch with one of our IT staff who could tell you more.
From my experience the threats to mobile messaging come in the following forms: 1. Sending Spam SMS messages to mobile numbers. It may be possible for outsiders to send spam messages to the patients mobile using the mobile hospital application- this would affect the reputation of the hospital/trust. 2. Disclosure of information through logs Frequently, applications log the message that is sent to users. The message may contain sensitive information and anyone having access to these logs or the backup of the logs will gain unauthorized access to this information. 3. Eavesdropping on traffic between mobile application and bulk SMS provider. Traffic transmitted from the mobile application to the Bulk SMS provider over the internet can be eavesdropped. The message may contain important information about patients and could lead to unauthorized information disclosure.
You shouldn't need any third party solution, ask your RIS vender to add this feature to the product you are using. It should be simple for them to implement. However, remember that your appointments may soon be handled by part of a national application - scope of the NPfIT e-bookings project.
>From a RIS supplier and technical point of view, sending appointment reminders via SMS, or email, is very simple compared to messaging using traditional methods deployed in Radiology such as DICOM, EDIFACT RSR, etc.
On a negative point, Wise have had this feature for some time, but no one uses it due to a real lack of or incorrect delivery information perceived confidentiality and political issues.
posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - 09:24 am
There is a very secure and solid solution for this that has been used in the financial and insurance industries for as long as SMS messaging has been around.
It integrates with whatever scheduling software you are using and can potentially reduce Trust wide DNA rates to around 3%.
If you would like to contact me offline, I can point you in the right direction to get info on this solution. It is not something we deal with per se, but I have contacts within the company if that would help.