DrDoctor help hospitals transform the way they communicate with patients

Thank you to WMAHSN for sharing this fantastic case study. Read on to find out how DrDoctor is transforming the way hospitals communicate with patients. You can read more about it here and visit the official website here.


The vast majority of patient interactions with secondary care are through outpatient clinics. In fact, 85% of all UK hospital-based activity (excluding A&E) is accounted for by outpatient appointments. One in five potential appointments in England, and one in four appointments in Wales, are cancelled or reported as DNA.

A recent OFCOM survey showed that smartphone ownership in those aged over 60 years was at 72%, and over 90% for the remainder of the population.

Before partnering with DrDoctor, ROH’s DNA rate for the clinics that were identified as in-scope for DrDoctor were at a high baseline of 10.9%. Clearly, there was an opportunity to leverage mobile technology reduce this, while improving the quality of care for patients.

ROH partnered with DrDoctor in 2019 to implement Patient Platform and Appointment Management, with a view of rolling out Digital Letters and Patient-led Booking as a second phase. To make life for hospital users simple, and in line with recent national pushes to reduce login time, this was provisioned with Seamless Single Sign on Solution, utilising Active Directory Integration.

Why did you need to innovate?

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (ROH) started 2017 with a Did Not Attend (DNA) rate of 10.9%, and were using a non-interactive text messaging reminder system. Although below the national average, as a high performing specialist centre the Trust partnered with DrDoctor to improve this further by implementing Appointment Management.

How did you do it?

In order to achieve benefits quickly, ROH rolled out Appointment Management in all selected clinics, which accounts for 70% of all outpatient clinics, in nine weeks. The Trust had a dedicated Programme Manager from DrDoctor on-site throughout this process – enabling the Trust to quickly start to see tangible improvements to DNA rates and patient satisfaction. Figure 2 details the delivered timeline for this implementation of Appointment Management at ROH.Impacts and Outcomes

Appointment Management was implemented to improve efficiency and patient experience throughout the Trust. Specifically, ROH needed to: 

  • Reduce DNA rates
  • Generate realisable financial savings
  • Improve administrative efficiencies
  • Digitise outpatient services

Within nine weeks, the overall DNA rate was reduced to 7.1% (35% improvement) in the clinics where DrDoctor is turned on; the estimated 2019-2020 full year equivalent financial benefit for the Trust is over £100,000

Read more about the innovation here!