The Friends and Family Test (FFT) is an excellent tool for Trusts wishing to collect real time feedback on patient experience. Although a coarse measure, correctly used it can identify issues in service provision quickly. This allows fast focused service improvement. Critically, it also identifies areas of exceptional care, so best practice can be shared and staff informed that what they are doing is working.

The practicalities of collecting FFT data, processing and analysing the results prove difficult for most Trusts. Staff have core clinical responsibilities which are often prioritised over data collection. Paper forms, although quick and easy to distribute require manual data entry and processing. This has an associated cost and lead time. Digital surveys, such as iPads, have a high initial cost, can only be used by one patient at a time and often are only filled out by the extreme ends of the feedback range.

University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust Maternity department recognised all of these issues. They identified a proactive SMS based feedback collection service would solve these problems, automate data collection and increase coverage.

UCLH trust approached DrDoctor about using our SMS feedback collection tools, which can be used to collect FFT, PROMS and a wide range of patient experience measures. DrDoctor could provide a service quickly, with technology and pricing which would scale with demand.

Within 24 hours the system was switched on, quickly reaching over 40% response rate. Moreover, in a complex speciality like Maternity, where some care is delivered in the community and feedback is difficult to get with traditional methods, SMS continued to deliver robust results. 

Using an easy to use web based interface, results are collated in real time and displayed in a format designed to drive service improvement. Data can be automatically extracted in UNIFY2 data format or in its raw form for further analysis or directly in returns to NHS England.

Using SMS significantly increased feedback collection rates over paper or tablet surveys. The outcome of this improved data collection was front line staff were free to focus on their core responsibilities, real time performance data and increased CQUIN payments for the trust.

Most importantly, patients were happier and services improved.

UCLH have now commissioned DrDoctor to begin work integrating the full suite of Appointment Management tools. Prof D Peebles, Obstetric Lead for London Strategic Clinical Maternity Network says “I have been very excited by the potential for DrDoctor to transform our unsatisfactory appointments system in Maternity making the system more woman centred, improving the quality of the consultations and realising efficiencies”

Try a free, interactive SMS demo of the service – text FFTDEMO to 07860 026 344


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