£216,960

saved in just 8 weeks

1,356

appointments not missed in just 8 weeks due to automation.

£2.1M

saved in a year

Intelligent Automation Bridges the Appointment Gap at ESNEFT

At the East Suffolk North Essex Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) patients have the best intentions when scheduling appointments. But sometimes something comes up, or the procedure that was scheduled is no longer needed. It’s easy to forget to cancel an appointment. Other times patients call to cancel, and staff makes an error in recording their request. Not surprisingly then, wasted or missed appointments add up to thousands of hours of misspent time and resources within the National Health Service (NHS). 

Intelligent Automation in the Healthcare Industry

Residents of East Suffolk and North Essex in England have long enjoyed a serene seaside location and a storied past. New to these residents is the East Suffolk & North Essex Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which recently formed during a merger of two successful hospitals, Ipswich and Colchester. The new system now serves as the largest hospital in the southeast of England with more than one million patients.

Challenge

Hospital patients have the best intentions when scheduling appointments. But sometimes something comes up, or the procedure that was scheduled is no longer needed. It’s easy to forget to cancel an appointment. Other times patients call to cancel, and staff makes an error in recording their request. Not surprisingly then, wasted or missed appointments add up to thousands of hours of misspent time and resources within the National Health Service (NHS). ESNEFT estimates that the cost of an outpatient appointment is £160, and that money is simply lost if the patient does not turn up. It adds up. NHS estimates that eight million appointments are missed each year.

Solution

Blue Prism intelligent digital workers are on the scene at ESNEFT, ready to check in with all appointment holders to find out if they intend to visit the hospital at the appointed time. The Trust sends all patients a text message in advance of their appointments. The text gives them the option to quickly cancel an unneeded appointment. If informed of a cancellation, a digital worker searches multiple systems and notifies the patient contact center that the slot is now open. This free appointment can immediately be offered to another patient—a win-win for everyone involved. Patients are happy because they are seen more quickly and healthcare providers have a full schedule of patients, with no gaps due to missed appointments. And without no-show patients, the hospital saves millions of pounds.

Read ESNEFT’s story to discover how a Blue Prism intelligent digital workforce has closed the appointment gap, saving the Trust millions.

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