Case study: Appt Health

Appt Health is a smart patient engagement system with a vital objective: Increase the accessibility of preventative healthcare appointments to improve patient uptake across the UK. After coming to us from another SMS provider, Appt set up a custom integration with the FireText platform using our API. Here, we tell their SMS success story.

Appt Health’s objective

Appt’s previous SMS provider had no control over where data was processed. For the sake of information governance, and to keep data securely hosted in the UK, Appt decided it was time to make the move to FireText.

Appt itself personalises the approach to appointment invitations for patients. The aim is to increase the accessibility of proactive healthcare checks, such as immunisations, screenings, and annual reviews. Appt’s CEO, Hector Smethurst, developed the service after witnessing first-hand the huge under provisions in preventative healthcare.

Appt’s smart automation involves an ‘omnichannel’ strategy – a mix of text messages, email, postal letters and follow-up telephone calls – to provide a patient-centred approach to health check invitations. With each interaction, the system learns the channel the patient is most responsive to, individualising the experience per patient. The idea is to improve patient uptake of health checks, while helping relieve GP practices of huge time pressures by reducing admin time.

The challenge

There were a few reasons why Hector decided to move over. The main was information governance. A big benefit of the FireText platform is the fact we only use Tier-1 networks and UK-based data centres – which means data never leaves the UK. The team at Appt also knew that their system would sit behind the same security used by the likes of the UK government and NHS, adding an extra level of reassurance.

One of Appt team’s biggest hesitations when moving over was the thought of migrating a legacy product to FireText. This wasn’t a problem. With our support, Appt’s developer was able to set up the integration via our open API – with simple API documentation and guidance – in a matter of days.

The messages

A typical invitation to attend a preventive healthcare appointment is a one-size-fits-all scenario. You receive a letter regarding a routine health screening. From there, you phone up the practice and wait in a queue to book your appointment. Life or work commitments can mean the call is missed, or the letter gets discarded and forgotten. From there, the process repeats.

This is where Appt changes things. The intelligent system personalises reminders and the patient experience depending on what works for them – and increases engagement.

Appt provides an end-to-end approach. It predicts or aims for the best invitation strategy per patient. The first step could be a text. For example:

“It’s time to book your appointment for XXX”

They can personalise the message even more by noting patient history, for example:

“You still need to book this appointment, even if you’ve had your XXX”

There are usually multiple appointment times to choose from. If no times suit them, they can use a keyword such as ‘MORE’ with then provides them with additional options. If there’s no response, it reminds the patient within a certain timeline via SMS or another channel.

Our experts offered Hector and his team guidance on how to handle deliverability (this is important to make sure patients are receiving the messages). Also, best practice suggestions on how to handle opt-outs from patients, while ensuring they can still access available appointment times. With this considered, it only took a few days to move over from their old provider to FireText.

The result

“The team at FireText have been so supportive. The benefits have far outweighed the small time it took us to move over from another provider”, says Hector.

From our UK-based data centres to our top-rated support, Hector says it was worth the minimal change required to migrate. Although the initial benefit of their previous provider was a simple set-up, he explains the move was just as simple.

Hector and the Appt team say they’re super grateful for FireText’s support since moving over. With their past provider only contactable over email, they immediately noticed the difference with FireText.

They have the support of their dedicated account manager – and a whole team of SMS experts – for any technical queries and SMS guidance. Above all, they know we’re there at the end of the phone, on standby to help out.

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