HBCIS Enhancement - SMS

Initiative Type
Service Improvement
System Improvement
19 July 2017
Last updated
11 October 2022


This project improved Outpatient clinic utilisation through reducing the number of patients who fail to attend (FTA) their appointments.

Key dates
Jul 2013
Feb 2017
Implementation sites
Hervey Bay, Blackwater Hospital, Bundaberg, Caboolture, Caloundra, Dalby, Gayndah and Districts, Gladstone Hospital, Gold Coast, Gympie, Kingaroy, Mackay, Maryborough, Monto, Nambour, QEII, Redland, Rockhampton, Royal Children’s, TPCH Mental Health, Toowo


To improve Outpatient clinic utilisation, through reducing the number of FTA’s.


  • Cost benefits of SMS were achieved through increasing the utilisation of outpatient resources, including medical and nursing staff time, clinic overheads and costs and reduced administration time reminding patients of appointments and rebooking patient appointments.
  • The system was designed to be responsive to business requirements with the ability for users to set a number of parameters.  These include the time messages are sent, the days on which a message is sent and the number of messages sent.  The system also allows for a minimum age to be set as well as sites being able to use their own message content (in line with Queensland Health policy).  Departments can also choose from three types of messages; reminder, alteration or cancellation.


In conjunction with the HBCIS Application Support team from Health Services Information Agency (HSIA) and external messaging company, Message Media, and the Healthcare Improvement Unit developed an enhancement which allows SMS to be sent from the HBCIS Appointment Scheduling and Elective Admissions Management modules.  This enhancement operates through an automated process whereby SMS are sent from Queensland Health through a Secure Transfer Service to Message Media, who then deliver the messages to the nominated patients.

Solutions Implemented

  • Testing of the HBCIS upgrade prior to release
  • Facilitate SMS configuration with the Secure Transfer Service and the facilities (including SMS testing from the facility end).
  • Engage with Message Media to obtain account information for the purpose of setting up SMS accounts for each facility.

Evaluation and Results

At the completion of the HBCIS SMS configuration for facilities across the state, the Department will undertake an evaluation of the service improvements achieved by introducing the SMS functionality

Lessons Learnt

Culture change takes time.

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Key contact

Tamara McCrory
Manager Health Systems Development
Healthcare Improvement Unit
(07) 3328 9069