FFT Health worked with 13 Hospitals in the North of England, using SMS for the FFT - here are some details;

Piloting SMS for the FFT

Starting in October 2012, FFT Health, in conjunction with Insiration NW and Cindder Lane, opened consultation with 7 x Trusts (total of 11 Hospitals) in the North of England, regarding piloting the FFT using SMS.

This pilot was commisisoned by the North West Strategic Health Authority (SHA) in conjunction with Inspiration NW, as well as the 7 Trusts themselves, who were all contributing to the pilot.

Delivery of the technology, was by Good4HEALTH, using the 3rd Degree's toolset – Synapta. Good4HEALTH is the technology partner, with specialisms in SMS, Web and Mobile. Cinder Lane managed implementation advice, project management and consultancy for the Trusts, including service improvements.

Why SMS?

In discussion with the Trusts and Inspiration NW and the North of England, it became clear that a Systematic approach to delivering the FFT was necessary. This means, that once implemented, an automated system delivers the FFT Survey to Patients who have been discharged (within 48-hours of discharge) and gathers their feedback, which is then immediately available to the Trusts for review and implementation.

No clinician time is involved in gathering data. No Hospital time (once setup) is used to sending and receiving the Surveys.

We were therefore aiming for the fact that more people can be surveyed, practically, using SMS, than any other method.

We then worked with the trusts to fill in the gaps - those without Mobiles, those who choose not to use SMS, or those who cannot use SMS for other reasons plus helping to improve the efficiency of the FFT process overall.

What was the Pilot about?

Trusts were learning how to deliver the FFT. Many were using paper, others had perhaps used Web and others used Mobile devices at point of discharge, or bedside monitors prior to discharge.

FFT Health was exploring the benefits and drawbacks of all methods, from experience gained in Community Trusts we've worked in for years as well as from the Pilot itself.

We have the ability to report using all or any methods of delivery, so it's likely that the Pilot Trusts will deliver most Surveys using SMS and fill the gaps with other technologies, including paper, but have it all gathered and reported on our system.
We learn't amny valuable lessons together. Mainly concerning the gathering of mobile numbers, the importance of Information Governance and how Trusts implement change from feedback.
The results of the pilot has now been reported and we can share this information with providers, where requested.