Canterbury GPs to get free text messaging system

General practices in New Zealand's Canterbury region are being offered a free installation of Vensa Health's TXT2Remind messaging system, funded by the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB).

Approximately 40 per cent of practices in Canterbury already use the system, which allows GPs to deliver appointment, screening and immunisation reminders as well as key health messages direct to the patient via text message and interactive mobile content delivery.

The target of the two-year initiative, which will also provide a monthly allowance of text messages at no cost, is to have it installed in 95 per cent of practices.

It will be administered by Pegasus Health, the not-for-profit organisation that manages more than 100 practices in the Canterbury region, but is available to any general practice providing primary healthcare. It has been endorsed by the primary healthcare organisations (PHOs) in the region.

Pegasus Health chief operating officer Mark Liddle said in a statement that the perceived financial barriers to uptake of the TXT2Remind system will be removed through a co-ordinated approach and free implementation.

“TXT2Remind is a tool that will support us as we become part of a more population health competent system,” Mr Liddle said. “GPs benefit from an effective method of communication with patients and we gain a whole of system communication method for Canterbury."

TXT2Remind is an SMS-based patient reminder system that interfaces with popular patient management systems in NZ such as Medtech32, VIP and MyPractice.

It allows users to send automatic appointment reminders, comments on lab results after the doctor has reviewed them, and recalls for immunisations, screenings and diabetes annual checks.

Bill Eschenbach, CEO of the Rural Canterbury PHO, said it would make it easier for GPs to contact those patients who have been dislocated due to the earthquake.

Posted in New Zealand eHealth

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