Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust has reduced outpatient clinic delays by implementing a patient flow management system.

The trust has fully automated the check-in process at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital using self check-in kiosks and calling screens when patients arrive for their appointments.

Phil Taylor, the trust’s deputy directorate manager, told EHI that the wait to check-in for an outpatient appointment was the number one complaint the hospital used to receive.

“We had one central reception desk with a huge queue. We see 400 patients a day and we were quite concerned about that and received complaints on a daily basis,” he said.

“When a patient arrived, there would be an average waiting time of 20 minutes in the queue, so they would always be late for clinic. Then they would have to join the queue again afterwards to get their follow-up appointment letter.

“Because the clinicians knew people would be late, they would show up late themselves. Notes were missing because the reception didn’t have time to find them on time. It wasn’t good.”

By implementing the system, Central Manchester has significantly reduced clinic waiting times and queues are almost non-existent.

The self check-in kiosks from Intouch with Health, automatically capture the patient data, which is updated directly to the trust’s Clinicom patient administration system from CSC.

As well as the kiosks, the trust has implemented calling screens. The clinicians activate the patient’s name to appear on the screen and call them in from a computer in the clinic room.

Clinicians can also complete an electronic outcome form on the system with a few clicks.

“One of the things we were really keen on was to improve the function of the outcome form. We wanted a mandatory clinic outcome form which we are working towards at the moment,” said Taylor.

The information is automatically updated in the trust’s PAS through an HL7 interface.

The trust is now looking at using more functionalities of the system such as letting patients update their demographic details on the kiosk.