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News

GP led Smoking Cessation text messaging campaigns show 46 percent response rates

IPLATO : 23 June, 2008  (Application Story)
GP led text messaging campaigns run by Barking and Dagenham PCT have shown the effectiveness of iPLATO Patient Care Messaging for the identification of smokers.
Results from the first 10 surgeries to run the campaign have revealed average patient response rates of 46 percent - a major improvement when compared with alternative methods of collecting the same information.

The Smoking Status ‘update’ campaigns were run with the aim of reducing Smoking prevalence in a patient population, by effectively establishing smoking status to subsequently refer ‘quitters’ to Smoking Cessation support and advice From searches made on their GP system, the surgeries sent out a text message asking patients to text back their current smoking status. Patients who received this message were able to text back their status via a reply text that arrived at the surgery as an email (to a pre-defined surgery email address).

Jim McManus, associate director of health improvement at Barking and Dagenham PCT, said, “The iPLATO platform is proving to be an invaluable tool for the support of health promotion initiatives. Without the effective identification and engagement of at risk groups in the community, it can be difficult to direct relevant services successfully. These recent results have shown how effective Patient Care Messaging has been at supporting GP led Health Promotion campaigns. Compared to other potential approaches these campaigns have also proven to be cost effective”.

Funded centrally by the PCT, the service has been adopted by over 80 percent of Barking and Dagenham GPs and is being used to address important Public Health concerns such as Smoking, Flu, Childhood Immunisations and Obesity. The system works by integrating with the GPs’ clinical system where patient records are stored. Surgeries can use the clinical information they hold to target specific patients for health promotion campaigns and send groups of patients text message invitations to clinics.
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