New check-in kiosks for hospital outpatient appointments
From Monday, 29 January, patients arriving for outpatient appointments at West Suffolk Hospital will be able to check themselves in on new kiosks, as part of a pilot to update and improve staff and patient experience in outpatient areas.
The new easy-to-use kiosks, being brought into outpatient areas A, B and D in West Suffolk Hospital, mean that patients can check themselves in as soon as they arrive and therefore avoid waiting at reception or queuing. Once patients have checked in on the kiosks they will be told where to wait for their appointment and three new large screens on the walls will tell them whether their clinic is running on time.
The kiosks, which are already being successfully used across the NHS, are easy to use and read and have the additional benefit of allowing patients to select whether they have sight or hearing needs. This is then relayed directly to the care team, so they are aware that the patient may require additional assistance. Staff will be on hand to support patients in using the kiosks.
The new kiosks are also linked to a new dashboard for staff, so they can easily see which patients have arrived and are waiting and if they need additional help.
This is the first step in updating and transforming the outpatients’ departments of the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT). In time the Trust will be looking to roll out the kiosks and systems to other outpatient areas and sites. It is also looking at introducing further positive changes for patients, such as mobile phone check-in and digital mapping on mobile devices to help patients find their way in the hospital to their appointments.
The kiosks add to positive changes already made for patients, including being able to sign up for text message reminders and digital appointment letters. To sign up to receive digital appointments and reminders, please visit the ‘patients and visitors’ section on www.wsh.nhs.uk
Kirsty Rawlings, senior operations manager for outpatient transformation at the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, welcomes the new check-in kiosks. She said: “Our outpatient department is extremely busy with clinicians seeing approximately 500 patients every day.
“There is a huge team effort going on to improve our outpatient services, and introducing these self-check-in kiosks in some of our outpatient areas is the first exciting stage in transforming the outpatient experience for staff and patients alike. This will also help us to prepare for our new, future West Suffolk Hospital, so it is important to make changes now so that it is embedded from the start.
“Aside from the kiosks, other work is taking place to improve the overall environment of our outpatients’ departments, which should make it a better experience for everyone.”
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