Patient self check-in kiosks to improve efficiency of outpatient clinics
NHS Dumfries and Galloway has launched the first phase of an IT project that will help hospital staff to run more-efficient outpatient clinics and better manage the flow of patients at its newly-opened Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary.
The health board has installed patient self check-in kiosks across the new infirmary’s main reception and women and children’s unit, and digital patient calling screens that will eliminate the need for clinical staff or nurses to audibly call a patient to a consultation room – instead replacing this with a message on a screen displaying a patient’s name.
The project is being delivered by Cirencester-based patient flow management specialist, Intouch with Health, following an invitation to tender issued by the health board in July this year.
Hospital staff will also use Intouch’s Patient Activity Manager module to monitor patient locations using role-related icons via a digital dashboard that indicates where a patient is and what tests they are having by linking the patient to a specific clinic code, area or consultation room.
Graham Gault, general manager for ICT at NHS Dumfries and Galloway, said: “The Intouch system is vital for providing patients with access to services in the new hospital, and the self check-in kiosks and digital calling screens have already resulted in a much-improved experience for patients when they arrive for their appointment.
“In addition to benefitting our patients, the technology will also assist our clinical teams in the efficient running of our outpatient department by significantly reducing clinical process delays and providing a central dashboard from where they can easily monitor all patient activity.”
Mike Sanders, chief executive at Intouch with Health, added: “Our work with NHS Dumfries & Galloway constitutes our first patient flow management project in Scotland, and is strategically important for the company.
“The fact that our solution has been chosen through a competitive and strict evaluation process paves the way for us to continue our growth throughout the country and further support NHS Scotland with its ongoing digital transformation.”
The health board also plans to introduce Intouch’s Patient Wait Time Manager module to enable clinic staff and operational managers to review clinic running times and identify potential problem areas, before automatically informing patients of the potential waiting time for their consultation.