Tom Whicher – DrDoctor

DrDoctor is a wonderful tool… It has helped our communication, enabled better clinic utilisation, helped bring our waiting list down and reduce our DNAs.Sophia Fitzpatrick, Frimley Health Foundation Trust

Finally the NHS using tech to improve user experience – Patient

Trained as an engineer and a former management consultant, Tom identified an opportunity to improve the way hospital appointments are booked and managed, and reduce appointment non-attendance, and developed DrDoctor to enable just that. It has already been successfully introduced to six acute trusts serving 4 million patients.

DrDoctor is an online and text based service that allows patients to confirm, cancel, and change bookings digitally. For hospitals, this means they can maximise and manage patient volume to best fit their capacity. The technology can target long waiting lists and automatically book patients into empty slots in clinics. In addition, it provides digital assessments before and after appointments, saving time for both patients and caregivers.

Where it is currently used, DrDoctor has made a positive impact on acute care efficiency; it has:

  • Reduced time to first contact by 8 days
  • Increased utilisation by 10%
  • Reduced DNAs by 40%
  • Cut waiting lists by 10-15%

This equates to an average saving of £1.8 million per year for each acute. 96% of patients recommended DrDoctor, which has also earned press coverage and been named in the top 100 global social innovations by the Nominet Trust.

Tom is looking forward to working with the NIA to understand the core problems that face trusts across the UK and to develop DrDoctor into a national and international service. Tom would also like to take advantage of networking opportunities provided by the NIA to develop an advisory board.

Video pitch: NIA pitch
Twitter: @drdoctorapp / @twhicher