South Calgary PCN automates appointment reminders using Mikkom's 2-way Messenger solution

South Calgary Primary Care Network (SCPCN) was looking to increase clinic efficiency and help minimise unnecessary financial cost by reducing its overheads for reminding patients of their appointments. The plan was that, by using Mikkom's automated, multi-channel Messenger system to send automated reminders, the PCN could cut the amount of time spent by staff manually calling patients to remind them of their appointments, helping to save wasted staff time and effort and save the PCN money.

The secure Messenger system, which is installed on PCN IT systems, accepts data feeds extracted from their Telus Wolf EMR on a daily basis. Data from the patient record, pertinent to the patient's appointment date and time, is used to populate appointment reminder messages, which are then sent via text message (SMS) or email, depending on the patient's stated preference. Furthermore, Messenger provides a simple-to-use reply mechanism, allowing patients to quickly respond to the PCN, informing that they cannot make their appointment.

Oliver Schmid, PhD, Director of Evaluation and IM&T at SCPCN said "Through the implementation of the Mikkom system we were able to realize significant clinical efficiencies resulting in a 1st year Return of Investment of 174% and an annual saving of 64%. Patient and staff appear very satisfied with the system. Some patients' feedback included comments such as:

"It was nice to get the message on my phone. I work away from my house most of the time and rely on my texts and email."

"It's a great way to remind people."

"I appreciate getting the reminder a few days before my appointment so I don't forget."

Messenger has been in use in the UK by, amongst others, the UK's National Health Service (NHS) since 2002, but this is the first time that a messaging interface has been done against the Telus Wolf EMR system.

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