Patient technology innovation scoops national award for East Lancashire Hospitals

The digital revolution benefitting patients and staff at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) has been recognised at the highest level with a winning performance at the national Public Sector Paperless Awards 2019.

At Manchester Airport Visitor Park in the shadow of a former British Airways Concorde, ELHT Directorate Manager for Outpatient Services, Sue Elliston and colleagues collected the ‘Best Use of a Digital Solution’ award in recognition of the trust’s successful introduction of new Patient Portal technology.

Introduced in partnership with Healthcare Communications, Patient Portal transforms the experience for outpatients who can now confirm, cancel or rebook their appointment with one click of their smartphones. Once confirmed, the appointment can be added directly into the patient’s digital calendar and saved to reduce the risk of losing their letter or forgetting their appointment.

Christine Pearson, ELHT Executive Director of Nursing, said: “Congratulations to Sue, her colleagues and our partners at Healthcare Communications on this fantastic and well-deserved achievement.”

“Our new digital Patient Portal technology has been welcomed by patients and staff. Overall it is a better, much smoother system that enhances the patient experience today and for many years to come.”

Kenny Bloxham, Managing Director at Healthcare Communications, said “ELHT are so deserving of this honour. They took the leap to digitalise their patient communications and the results speak for themselves. We’re delighted to share this win with the team and excited to support the next stage of their digital transformation.’

Not only has the ELHT Patient Portal been a success with patients, it’s also reduced missed appointments, delivered financial savings and helped the environment.

In comparison with the previous year, in the last 12 months the Patient Portal has achieved a drop in the trust’s did-not-attend (DNA) appointment rate to 7.5 per cent, significantly lower than the regional average and freeing up 10,000 additional appointments that would have been wasted.

The Paperless Awards are a unique event to honour and encourage the digital progress, recognise achievement and to spread best practice in digital transformation within public sector organisations.

“I am thrilled that our collaborative working with Healthcare Communications has led to winning such a prestigious award. It is a great acknowledgement of the team’s hard work in implementing this system. Not only is the Patient Portal much more convenient for our patients but, as a direct result of adopting this technology, East Lancashire Hospitals is now saving £183,000 a year in postage costs and over 210,000 letters have been downloaded saving at least 25 trees” says Sue Elliston.

East Lancashire Hospitals achieved further success at the Paperless Awards 2019 when Sue Elliston was shortlisted in the ‘Special Recognition Award’ category.