Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust has gone live with a patient engagement portal across its outpatient department.

Using Healthcare Communications’ portal the trust can now deliver digital appointment letters and allow patients reschedule and cancel appointments using mobile devices.

Since going live with the technology, more than 26,000 digital messages have been delivered to patients. Through the ability to cancel or postpone appointments online more than 900 appointments have been reused for waiting-list patients.

It’s hoped the solution will deliver cost savings on paper, postage and printing, as well as reducing ‘did not attend’ rates.

Shauna McMahon, CIO at the trust, said: “Improving patient experience is at the core of the NHS, and a key principle in our digital strategy is to provide high-quality, patient-centred care that is driven by digital innovation.

“We are therefore delighted to be working with Healthcare Communications, who are helping us deliver on these ambitions by enabling us to provide information in a timely manner, whilst offering our patients a choice in how they interact with us.

The trust now intends to continue with plans to digitise inpatient letters, before also extending use of the technology to the trust’s diagnostic and therapy departments.

The portal enables staff at the trust to configure patient letters, including edits to text and changes to the frequency of reminders. It’s also capable of translating digital letters to 99 languages, while providing other patient accessibility features such as increased font size and background colour changes.

Kenny Bloxham, managing director of Healthcare Communications, said: “Patient experience is becoming increasingly important across the sector, with a shift towards a model that gives patients more control and ownership over their care.

“It is therefore refreshing to see so many NHS trusts exploring the potential of digital technology that puts the patient first, whilst also allowing them to maintain the high-quality services they provide.”