Organisations can use Patients Know Best (PKB) more easily for appointment management. Our new appointment messaging feature lets patients request changes to their appointments quickly and easily from their records, without needing to wait on the phone. Organisations can efficiently review the requests and respond directly in a message.
Appointment messaging will be switched off by default, to help organisations set up the appropriate team and supporting processes beforehand.
The patient will see buttons alongside their appointment to request a change or cancellation when the appointment is from an organisation that has enabled this feature.
User journey for patients
If a patient asks for their appointment to be cancelled or rescheduled, they will be taken through a series of screens to write and review their request before sending it.
Once the patient sends their request, the message will go to the organisation’s nominated appointments team. The patient will then see a ‘View your request’ button beside their appointment, which will take them to the message they sent.
The organisation can then update the appointment and respond to the patient.
When enabled by an organisation, this feature will be available for all patients, whether they are accessing their record via the NHS App or using a web browser.
Managing appointment messages as an organisation
If an organisation wants to use this feature, they first decide which team should receive appointment messages (it could be a new appointments team or a pre-existing team). All appointment messages will then go to that nominated team. Patients do not need to be in the team set up to send appointment messages, they just need an appointment from that organisation. This allows organisations to set up an appointment management team solely to liaise with the patients around appointment requests.
The organisation can use messaging in PKB to manage all patient queries, not just appointment change requests. To do this, they would add all their patients to this assigned team so that they could manage appointment requests and use secure messaging too. Read more about secure messaging in our deploy wiki.
How to set up appointment messaging for your organisation
The nominated team for appointment messaging should have professionals marked as contactable by the coordinator and the Auto CC feature set up to allow them to receive appointment messages.
If an organisation wants to use this feature, they can contact their dedicated PKB Project Manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Managing appointments booked through partner systems
Organisations that use partner booking systems will be able to send a link in an HL7 SIU appointment message to allow their patients to change or cancel their appointments directly in PKB. This feature will be enabled for customers once their preferred partner has completed the necessary integration. You can read more about this in our August development blog.