The first UK trust to roll-out self check-in touch screens has announced it will deploy an additional 54 machines by the middle of the summer.

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust introduced three self check-in touch screens in its the ophthalmology and orthopaedics outpatient departments last October.

The system consists of a unit that can be mounted on a wall or a desk. When an outpatient arrives at the trust they can either check-in by answering a few simple questions on the screen or by using the barcode on their appointments letter to confirm their attendance.

Bill Fisher, head of IT at Norfolk and Norwich, told E-Health Insider: “The main reason we implemented the self check-in service was because our ophthalmology department had begun to get extremely busy.

“There were often 15-20 people queuing in public areas, and they were often elderly people that had been on their feet for a long time.”

The system uses standard touch screen technology and a web-based application, which has been written in house, so the trust is not dependent on any particular manufacturer. However, the trust is currently trialling screens from different suppliers.

Fisher added: “The new deployment is so easy because the system works with any touch screen PC, so all that is left to do is sort out the logistics of deciding where to put them and screwing them into walls.”

The reception staff have a control screen to allow them to see who is expected or has arrived for each clinic. The screen also allows patients to change their contact information, which automatically updates the bi-directional patient administration system.

He continued: “As a result of the screens, there are rarely any queues and even at our busiest times there are only ever two or three people waiting. The system has surpassed the expected benefits not only in managing queues but also in allowing more patients to be seen.”

Related: Norfolk and Norwich develops unique PAS

Link: Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust