Ophthalmology is live with digital appointment letters

20 August 2021

Following the success of the DrDoctor text reminder service to ophthalmology patients in Bury, Rochdale and Oldham, the department is the first specialty to go live with digital appointment letters to patients.

What does this mean for patients and the NCA?

1. Patients receive and review letters quicker (via their device)

2. Patients can still opt to receive paper letters

3. Provides a back-up if letters go astray in the post

4. Money is saved by reducing print and postage

5. Supports a reduction in our environmental impact

What do staff need to do?

Staff do not need to do anything differently.  Once the service is live, the printing of letters is carried out in exactly the same way. The print system is linked to the DrDoctor service and patients receive a text message with a link to view and download their appointment letter, via a mobile phone, tablet or computer.

If the Trust does not hold a mobile number for the patient, they will continue to receive paper letters in the post as before.

Safety checks are in place, including the automated printing of letters if the patient does not read the text within 3 days. In addition, on receiving the text, patients can reply with “PRINT”, which will ensure the letter is printed and posted, giving patients the choice.

What’s next?

Digital appointment letters is the second step on optimising the functionality of DrDoctor, the NCA’s patient text reminder service. Following the implementation of appointment letters, consideration will be given to making clinical letters available via the same process.

For more information about switching on patient text reminders and digital letters in your clinic/department please email: PennineDrDoctorSupport@PAT.nhs.uk

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