Rheumatology Team seeing cost benefits using PKB to streamline processes

Rheumatology Team seeing cost benefits using PKB to streamline processes

15 June 2023
“I’m definitely an advocate for PKB.”


Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s Rheumatology Healthcare Team are seeing early benefits of using PKB to communicate more quickly and efficiently with their patients. In particular this is helping to streamline their process for administering healthcare prescriptions. From initial savings of 1 hour a week of admin time printing and folding letters, to a possible 2 full weeks of admin time saved by increasing patient registrations. As well as cost savings, importantly it is improving the experience for both clinical teams and patients.


The team wanted to use PKB to make improvements to the Rheumatology Healthcare Prescription Service.

They identified that the main areas of PKB which would help them in supporting patients better and providing a better service were:

  • Utilising the Questionnaires functionality within PKB
  • Sending Outpatient letters through PKB
  • Sending Appointments via PKB
  • Helpful resources in the Library 

The team were keen to get the most out of the changes they made so set some clear SMART goals helping them to focus on the objectives and measure the benefits.

The Problem

The team had very limited options and timeframes in which to offer their patients availability to contact the team if they had a query. They also had to print and post all their letters to patients and the team couldn’t send patients their prescription receipts.

Before the team started using PKB the only way patients could contact the team with any queries was via their advice line between the hours of 9am - 11am. This caused delays in getting back in touch with the patient if they were unavailable and it meant that conversations were fragmented too.

They also had to send reminder letters out using Royal Mail which increased time delays, costs to the Trust and time taken up by staff. On top of that the team were not able to send patients their prescription receipts.

The Solution


The team created a questionnaire on PKB to send out to patients who were due a Healthcare Prescription. They would then send the questionnaire to the patient through PKB asking them to organise an appointment at their GP surgery to have their bloods updated, or if already completed, to let the team know by ticking Yes in the questionnaire and submitting. This informed the team that the patient was ready for their prescription, they could review their results and prescribe appropriately. They then used a follow up questionnaire to let the patient know the prescription had been processed and was ready for collection.

If the patient hadn’t had their bloods taken they had to tick no, submit the questionnaire and were asked to contact the team via the helpline once they had been taken.

Following the implementation of PKB Lucy, Senior Administrator to Specialist Nurses Rheumatology said:
PKB has helped me communicate with patients effectively. Now with PKB I can send a reminder to patients and they can respond saving time trying to contact them by phone.
Lucy, Senior Administrator to Specialist Nurses Rheumatology
“We send prescription receipts so the patient knows that their prescription has been received by the healthcare company and they can make contact with them.  Patients can also contact me via PKB if they have any problems.  I have also sent other messages via PKB if I have not been able to contact them via phone. I hope to eventually expand and do more with PKB to help aid my job.”

Seeing the Benefits

The team are really seeing the benefits of using PKB, particularly in cost and time savings :

  • Saving 1 hour a week of the administrators time printing from Lorenzo and folding letters.
  • Approximately 46 hours per year (1.5 weeks) currently saved and used elsewhere.
  • Reduced costs in sending letters digitally rather than by post.
  • Reduction in the volume of patients contacting the advice line as patients are responding electronically via PKB.
  • Reduction in telephone messages left on advice line.
  • Time saved calling the advice line, leaving a message, waiting for a response. 
  • Better self-management for patients.  Patients feel more in control of their healthcare.
  • Improvements in patient experience of chasing up their prescription.

Their patients and staff are also seeing the benefits with feedback such as :

“I’m definitely an advocate for PKB.”

“I love it… Patients are benefiting from easy access to speaking to someone and also the confirmation emails have helped a lot.”

"Great tool to communicate with patients."

The team is focused on increasing patient registration as the more patients registered, and using the pathway, the more savings they can make.

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