Confed 2017: Accelerator company DrDoctor gains three new NHS contracts


Patient appointment innovator DrDoctor is working with three new major NHS Trusts:

• A major children’s hospital, where the system is being configured in record time and will manage the Trust’s 150000 specialist outpatient appointments

• Whittington Health NHS Trust, covering all appointments across the Trust

• University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, DrDoctor is piloting in Paediatrics to demonstrate an estimated 30% DNA rate reduction.

DrDoctor supports hospitals with digital transformation. Its system allows patients to view, change and schedule outpatient appointments themselves, online, on smartphone or by conversational SMS.

DrDoctor chief executive Tom Whicher said: “We are thrilled to support three more forward thinking Trusts in their journey to provide effective, digital first, patient centric services. All three implementations will deliver, in year cash savings, increase patient satisfaction and form a strong foundation for future digital transformation.”

DrDoctor reduces the number of missed and unscheduled appointments and allows patients to opt in to receiving paperless communications, releasing print and postage savings to Trusts. New analysis at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has revealed that in one year the Trust has saved £2.2m, and patient satisfaction is 96 percent.

DrDoctor is supporting a major London children’s hospital’s strategic plan to become the leading paediatric centre in the world. DrDoctor was engaged in January 2017 to deploy its Appointment Management Platform. DrDoctor’s platform is a fundamental shift away from an inconsistent approach to appointment management. The platform will go-live in the summer of 2017. It will be available to all outpatients. It will allow the Trust to maximise and manage patient volume to best fit their capacity by automating large parts of the administrative workflow of managing patient bookings. The expected benefits of the deployment of DrDoctor at the hospital are improved DNA rate, clinic utilisation, consistency in messages, and contact rates with patients.

CCIO Shankar Sridharan said: “A real game-changer for the way we deliver care! Partnering with DrDoctor will allow us to skilfully use SMS to improve outpatient scheduling and patient experience.”

The Whittington hospital chose to work with DrDoctor as they wanted a partner who could help them deliver improvement across all their workstreams – not just providing technology but also providing support around data and improvement methodologies.

DrDoctor is one of NHS England’s NHS Innovation Accelerators, working with the Academic Health Science Networks.

DrDoctor is one of the 31 companies joining the first cohort of the year-long DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme where it has benefitted from the support from NHS Navigators before applying to NHS Innovation Accelerator.

CASE STUDY: One year at Guy’s and St Thomas’

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust went live with DrDoctor in April 2016 across all its sites [except for community midwifery], and analysis 12 months’ later has revealed the following:

• The Trust has saved £2.2m in a year.

• DrDoctor was paid £300,000 by the Trust over one year, or .45p per patient, which is less than a first class stamp

• 1.6m appointments handled by DrDoctor

• Patient satisfaction with the system [CHECK] is 96 percent

• 25 percent of patients opted for paperless communications

• Staff report they can spend more time on the phone with older patients and those that need support with transport

Ian Abbs, Medical Director said: “Our patients really like the system. Patients like the ease of use, they like the clarity, and they particularly like the information that DrDoctor can give them about the appointment that there is coming up for them in the next few days or weeks. It allows them to plan their lives, and so the feedback has been excellent.”

Notes for journalists:

• DrDoctor is exhibiting at NHS Confederation at stand A3.

• DrDoctor is an online and text based service that allows patients to confirm, cancel, and change bookings digitally. For hospitals, this means they can maximise and manage patient volume to best fit their capacity. The technology can target long waiting lists and automatically book patients into empty slots in clinics. In addition, it provides digital assessments before and after appointments, saving time for both patients and caregivers.

• DrDoctor has made a positive impact on acute care efficiency; it has:

• Reduced time to first contact by 8 days • Increased utilisation by 10%

• Reduced DNAs by 40%

• Cut waiting lists by 10-15%

This equates to an average saving of £1.8 million per year for each acute. 96% of patients recommended DrDoctor, which has also earned press coverage and been named in the top 100 global social innovations by the Nominet Trust.

About the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA)

The aim of the NIA is to deliver on the commitment detailed within the Five Year Forward View – creating the conditions and cultural change necessary for proven innovations to be adopted faster and more systematically through the NHS, and to deliver examples into practice for demonstrable patient and population benefit. The NIA is delivered in partnership with all 15 Academic Health Science Networks across England.

DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme:

The pioneering Accelerator programme, the first major programme of DigitalHealth.London, provides in-depth knowledge of and access to the NHS for a cohort of 20-30 high potential, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) each year over three consecutive years. The support, tailored to each business’s specific needs, focuses on engagement with clinicians and healthcare experts, refining products to meet needs, deepening understanding of the health system, showcasing in health facilities and developing business models in order to progress product development and access to the market.

The Accelerator is run by a consortium of founding partners comprising of London’s three AHSNs (the Health Innovation Network, Imperial College Health Partners and UCLPartners), CW+ and MedCity. The programme benefits from strategic support delivered by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, NHS England, the Greater London Authority, Digital Catapult and Silicon Valley Bank. The programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

The first cohort of 31 companies on the programme has benefitted from the daily support from their respective NHS Navigator and attended (by “invitation-only”) highly informative bespoke events set up by the Navigators. These included “Meet the expert” workshops, London forums, conferences and speed dating opportunities at partner organisations in London. Contact: Website: Twitter: @drdoctorapp / @twhicher.

This press release was originally published by ZPB Associates. View here.