GP surgeries using iPLATO text messaging have discovered innovative ways of using the system to improve patient compliance to the childhood immunisation schedule. The long periods between booster injections often result in children missing important jabs.
Early results have shown that sending targeted text reminders to parents and guardians of children being vaccinated, vastly increases appointment attendance and compliance of these patients.
Stuart Hall, Practice IT Manager from the Vale Medical Centre, Lewisham PCT in South London, who has been using the iPLATO system for the last year, said that his surgery was keen to look at ways of managing patient compliance in this area. “We were able to put together a list of children that were overdue for their specific jab and whose parents had not responded to letters sent out previously. Using the iPLATO system, we sent a targeted text message to these parents asking them to call the surgery to book an appointment for their child’s missed vaccination. The result of this text campaign was overwhelmingly positive, with more than half of the parents phoning the surgery in response to the text alert, to schedule a new appointment” comments Hall.
Immunisation is a means of actively protecting a child against serious disease. Once children have been vaccinated, their immune system can fight off any diseases they have been vaccinated for. If a child misses a vaccination, however, they will remain at risk from catching that specific disease. If the level of compliance to an immunisation schedule within a population decreases, then the number of children at risk of catching a disease increases and, as a result, outbreaks of the disease are more likely to occur.
Tobias Alpsten, iPLATO Managing Director said, “The aim of our technology is to simplify and automate many of the processes that healthcare professionals are faced with. Improving patient compliance can be hugely burdensome especially when dealing with large groups of patients. iPLATO’s text messaging system aims to help surgeries engage with their patients around compliance in a manner which is not only cost effective but also personalised and immediate.”
iPLATO Patient Care Messaging is the only system to integrate with all major GP Administration Systems and is currently used in over 100 surgeries across 20 Primary Care Trusts in England.
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