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GPs text children to get vaccinated

GPs are playing children at their own game, texting them with reminders to attend booster vaccinations.

Children often miss important jabs due to long waits between booster vaccinations.

But text message reminders sent using the "iPLATO Patient Care Messaging" system have vastly increased appointment attendance and patient compliance.

iPLATO is the only system to integrate with all major GP administration systems. It is currently used in over 100 surgeries across 20 primary care trusts in England.

Stuart Hall, practice IT manager at Vale Medical Center in Lewisham, south London, put together a list of children that were overdue for their jabs and whose parents had not responded to a letter send out.  

"Using the iPLATO system, we sent a targeted text message to those parents asking them to call the surgery to book an appointment for their child's missed vaccination," he says.

"The result of this text campaign was overwhelmingly positive, with more than half of the parents phoning the surgery in response to the text alert, to schedule a new appointment."

Tobias Alpsten, managing director of iPLATO, commented: "iPLATO's text messaging system aims to help surgeries engage with their patients around compliance in a manner which is not only cost effective but also personalised and immediate."