King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has selected Healthcare Communications to advance its “digital by default” strategy.

The patient communications provider will implement its patient portal and eClinic video consultation platform aimed at increasing patient safety and staff efficiency.

Eight additional solutions from the company’s patient engagement platform will also run alongside the portal and video consultation platform.

The patient portal is designed to inform patients about appointments by automatically sending updates and digital letters to their smartphones.

It also enables patient-initiated follow-ups (PIFU) and helps the trust reduce inbound phone traffic by allowing patients to confirm, cancel or rebook appointments digitally.

The eClinic solution is designed to reduce the number of patients visiting the hospitals for non-emergency appointments. The platform will also be used to provide urgent care for patients who cannot attend in person.

Jonathan Lofthouse, site chief executive for the Princess Royal University Hospital, said: “At King’s, it has always been our agenda to move to a ‘digital by default position’, which is why we were keen to put digital technology at the forefront of our recovery and reset programmes.

“Using new communication platforms will aid patient self-management, improve the speed, quality and accessibility of information, increase the quality of our clinical services, and help us to deliver against the future expectation of our patients and clinicians. I’m really very excited about this programme of work.”

The trust will also deploy instant patient messaging, an appointment scheduling bot, virtual assistants and proactive communications channels, and digital remote monitoring using Healthcare Communication’s solutions.

Kenny Bloxham, managing director at Healthcare Communications, said: “Even before the pandemic, we were beginning to see an increased appetite for patients wanting to take greater control of their own care. Our technology will allow them to do just that, while also reducing the burden of heavy administrative workloads and enabling remote engagement between staff and patients.”