Poole Hospital has launched a mobile app to enable outpatients to check in for their hospital appointment using their smart phone.

The trust, part of The University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust, hopes the app will support infection control to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Using mobile appointment manager from Intouch with Health, patients that check in using the app will also receive an alert when their appointment is ready, allowing them to avoid busy waiting rooms and instead wait anywhere on site.

Michele Roberts, outpatients department general manager at the hospital, believes the app will play a key role in helping the trust manage infection control and social distancing measures.

“Mobile check in will help us safely manage the flow of patients in the department at any one time, for example by giving them the ability to check-in in on arrival in the hospital vicinity, and then wait there comfortably and safely before being notified via the app when it is time to move to their clinic area for their scheduled appointment,” she said.

“Not only does this give patients much greater convenience and flexibility to avoid busy waiting areas and choose where and how they wait for their appointment, but it also supports our infection prevention measures by, for example, reducing the number of patients inside the hospital and minimising the requirement for interaction with patients and reception staff.

“Patients can safely self-distance in outside waiting areas or in their cars until they are called for their appointment through the app.

“Enabling patients to check-in on their mobiles also releases staff time to perform more qualitative interaction with patients, further improving the patient experience.”

As part of the programme the trust has upgraded to Version 7 of Intouch with Health’s operating software, which has seen the relaunch of Intouch’s flow manager, patient calling and patient self-check-in solutions at Poole Hospital.

Kevin Fletcher, chief operating officer at Intouch with Health, added: “We are delighted to be able to support Poole Hospital in improving the experience for outpatients using mobile appointment manager, while at the same time supporting the trust to continue delivering its vital outpatient services amid the pandemic.”

The app can be downloaded on the App Store and Google Play by searching Intouch mobile appointment manager.