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Patients give thumbs up to Nottingham University Hospitals’ check-in kiosks

13th April 2015

Early research conducted by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has found that its new check-in kiosks are proving overwhelmingly popular with patients as well as improving Trust efficiency. 

The Trust originally went live with the kiosks in summer 2014 in outpatient departments across the Queen’s Medical Centre and Nottingham City Hospital. The initial launch was in both centralised and devolved areas including children’s clinics, a fracture clinic and an antenatal clinic. 

Andrew Fearn, Director of ICT Services at the Trust, said the initial roll-out had gone very smoothly, with over 75% of patients surveyed recording a positive experience of using the kiosks. “The fact that patients have found the kiosks simple to use with immediate payback in terms of speed and convenience is great news”, he said. “It means we are now moving on to the next phase in the roll out and maximising the efficiency and productivity benefits.” 

The Trust has subsequently gone live with the barcode scanning of letters, and is now planning phase 2 of the roll-out across the rest of its outpatient activity. 

Nottingham University Hospitals is running the Medway kiosk registration software on Acante touchscreen kiosks. The solution is tightly integrated with its Medway PAS EPR, developed by System C. 

With trained volunteers on hand in some areas to introduce patients to the kiosks, the screens let patients confirm their arrival and their basic demographic details. They also help direct patients to the correct waiting area and provide timely arrival information, including automated notifications to alert staff to the presence of the patient. 

The Trust has been monitoring the impact of the kiosks over the first few months of use. Its findings show that most patients would recommend use of the kiosks, with 60% saying they were ‘extremely likely’ to recommend them to friends. This compared with 2% at the other end of the scale who said they were ‘not at all likely’ to recommend usage. 13% of survey respondents cited the lack of a queue as the main reason for recommending self-check in, 18% said it was quick, while 38% referred to ease of use.

In addition to a cut in departmental waiting times from arrival to check-in, efficiency has improved. Reduced pressure on reception staff means they can spend more time with patients needing to amend their details and keep up with the traditionally-squeezed outcome tasks such as booking follow-up appointments. Automated notification of a patient’s arrival means reception and clinical staff can be prepping the notes ready for the consultation.

Mr Fearn said that the Trust was now measuring the impact of the recently-introduced barcode scanning of letters, but that it was clearly significantly speeding up the check-in process.