Mass registration of patients by home letter
For other ways of registering patients, see the registration page.
You can register a patient using their home address to verify their identity. This is highly scalable allowing you to register lots of patients simultaneously through a mass mailing.
- Each patient receives a letter at their home address. The letter has registration instructions and customised registration codes.
- The user starts registration by visiting joinpkb.com - the website details are provided in the letter.
- The user enters the date of birth of the patient's record. This date is not included in the letter, so this is a check that the person receiving the letter knows the patient's date of birth.
- The user enters the invite code and activation code from the letter. The codes decrypt the patient's record, allowing the person registering to see the record.
- The user enters an email address, password and security question.
- PKB sends a confirmation message to the email address of the user.
- The user clicks the link in the confirmation message, linking the address to the patient's record.
- The user can log into PKB with this email address and password to see their record.
Why this letter works
The text the letter has been perfected from repeated experiments across different hospitals. Varying from this letter leads to cash releasing benefits from lower registration rates and lower engagement because patients do not understand what they need to do. They also cause higher technical support costs for the hospital and to PKB, along with complaints and negative reviews. So PKB requires all customers to use this letter, and changes must be agreed with PKB to prevent lower benefits and higher costs.
Here are the reasons for each individual element of the page:
- Printing must be on high quality paper to accurately show the codes and QR code link for registration. Patients have complained they could not register when printing was poor quality. The colour logo of the hospital inspires trust that this letter is legitimate.
- Describe the benefits to the patient of your long term use of PKB rather than just your immediate short-term use. In other words mention that you will release test results into the PKB record even if the date for release is later than the date of the letter. If patients do not know that they will eventually get their test results, they complain about the limits and ask for their account to be shut down. When PKB explained to these patients that test results would eventually come, the patients were happy and maintained their account. A large percentage of patients never register or complain in the first place when online access to letters is the only promise made in the registration letter. Patients have been trained by their banks, supermarkets and utility companies to eventually have full convenient access to their data. They do not expect immediate equivalent from their hospital but they do need to know your long term plan.
- Use a photograph and signature of a local clinical professional. Your medical director and chief clinical information officer are good candidates.
- Use a QR code linking to www.joinpkb.com for convience of patient using their smartphone camera to start registering. PKB will provide the QR code from sites like https://www.qr-code-generator.com/ so we can track usage of the codes for you.
The common questions section is built on complaints patients made about previous versions of the letter. It is important to answer these directly and early to gain patients' confidence and cooperation.
- Explain why your chose PKB. If you do not, patients assume this is a wasteful duplication of their existing GP portal rather than a patient-centric improvement in service and care.
- Explain who PKB are. If you do not, some patients think a private company is attempting fradulent access to their records.
- Explain that letters will still arrive by post if for any reason the patient does not read the letter in PKB on time. This reduces patients' anxiety over their capacity to log in and see the letters when unwell, and their confidence in trying the system when they had not heard of it before. Furthermore, spell out that this effort saves postage cash which you can then spend in improving care delivery.
- Use PKB's email address as the first point of contact. Some patients will still contact your switchboard or front-line staff, which is why you should provide your team with information about the registratin roll-out. But PKB staff have the most experience in answering questions from patients. Using email is more accurate way to provide technical support as many of the questions are about registration codes, which needs details in writing, and a full audit trail for the point at which non-PKB staff need to be brought in.
- Explain how carers can register because some of the patients receiving the most letters are also the most unwell. They need and receive support from carers and family members and giving those parties access increases a patient's confidence with trying to see data online.
Communications work before sending the letter
Patients will have questions when they receive the letter. Answering these questions is easy if you have prepared in advance, and the patients will happily proceed when they trust that you trust the security and privacy of Patients Know Best. But if the patients cannot quickly find these pre-prepared answers some of them will assume there is a fradulent attempt to acces their health care data. So it is important to do the following.
- Set up a link to the PKB login page from your hospital's main navigation page. Patients cannot find login pages buried deep in your navigation, nor will Google show such an obscured page when patients fail to find the page on your web site and turn to Google. By contrast if the patients find the login link on your home page they immediately understand that the record access roll-out is part of your long term work with patients and trust the letter.
- Tell your phone centre and reception staff that the letter is going out. If the patient asks about the letter and staff recognise it, the patient is happy to proceed. If staff are not aware, the costs of regaining patients' trust goes up dramatically.
- Start registering your front-line staff as PKB patients. Send out a mass email to your colleagues giving them instructions to register to access their records so that, even if they do not register, they are aware that patient registration is happening. Staff can then confidently tell patients that the letter is part of a wider long-term roll-out. When a member of staff does register, they are much more confident about how PKB works and their confidence inspires confidence in a patient with questions that registration is beneficial.