An automated voice message trial has been launched at two London GP practices in a bid to save time and money.
Patients of the Bush Doctors and Richford Gate Medical Practice in Hammersmith and Fulham Primary Care Trust will receive automated messages requesting information to update their medical records.
The trial, using a system from iPLATO, aims to improve the accuracy of core patient data held by GPs. If the trial is successful, the PCT plans to introduce the system to 25 other practices.
The free service sends an automated voice message to a patient's landline telephone asking them to confirm if they smoke or not. Patients are asked during the call to respond to the question via keystroke on their telephone keypad.
Dr Susan McGoldrick, GP at the Bush Doctors, said: "We think our population is ready for this automated voice service, as it is a natural extension of the texting service we already offer to people who have their mobile telephone number recorded on the system here at the surgery.
"In this project we seek to streamline tedious but necessary tasks, such as continuously updating patient records, to free up staff to work with our patients.
"We know that this method will be more efficient than most other data collection methods, so what we are really looking at is establishing patient acceptance and satisfaction."
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Does this sound like something you'd like to introduce into your practice? Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)
"Yes, this is something we feel we would like to find out more about." - Jane Collins, West Sussex