St. Vincents University Hospital - Reduces DNA rates with major savings

St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin.

St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin.

St.Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH) is one of the world’s leading academic teaching hospitals providing front line, acute, chronic and emergency care across over 40 different medical specialities – in the country’s only integrated multi-hospital campus.

In 2009, SVUH like all hospitals in the Republic of Ireland had a very high Did Not Attend (DNA) rate for patients attending their outpatient clinics. Each DNA incurs an administration cost and also reduces the hospitals capacity to see more patients when patients who do not turn up don’t cancel or reschedule their appointment.

In order to help reduce DNA rates & save costs, the hospital decided to remind patients who have an appointment using text messaging, which is direct, cost-effective and guarantees patients are reminded of their appointment, which may have been scheduled months ago.

As part of a tender for a solution, SVUH chose Defero, Grapevine’s Advanced Messaging Solution to send automated appointment reminders via text message to patients a number of days prior to their appointment. Patients were also given the opportunity to send a text response back to the hospital to cancel or re-schedule their appointment.

After a 3-month pilot project in 2009 provided immediate reductions in DNA rates, the system was integrated with the hospital’s Patient Administration & Radiology systems so that patients are automatically sent a reminder 2, 5 or 10 days in advance of their appointments.

Patients can also send texts to cancel or reschedule their appointments, which allows staff reallocate the cancelled appointment and reduce waiting lists.

The hospital also use Defero to communicate with staff for daily roster & training notifications and has also been incorporated into the hospital’s emergency response plan to swiftly contact staff in emergency situations.



  • DNA rates reduced by over 50%

  • Savings of €1m per year since 2010

  • Waiting lists reduced Improved patient services

  • Communication costs reduced

View the case study to see how St. Vincent’s Hospital reduced their DNA rates and made major cost savings.

“Since we introduced Defero our DNA rate has decreased by over 50% allowing us to see 52,000 more patients who potentially may have DNA’d their scheduled appointment, generating savings of over €4m since 2010. Patients can now cancel & reschedule appointments by text allowing staff to manage 2-way text communication with ease & reduce the volume of calls to the department”

-Glenn Murphy, ADCC Manager