How can digital communication with patients help transform outpatient services?

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While the pandemic has promoted increasing use of digital in the NHS, the reality remains that the most frequent way in which the NHS communicates with patients about care is by letter. The result is often unnecessary costs and slow and unreliable information sharing.

At some organisations, leaders are taking action. Patients at Milton Keynes University Hospital Foundation Trust and East Suffolk and North Essex FT, for instance, now have access to an online patient portal. The setup enables them to check and rebook appointments as well as access correspondence. In the longer term, the aim is to use the system to distribute questionnaires and gain information from patients more swiftly and efficiently.