Patients self check in at Tallaght

A new self check in for outpatients and clinic management at Tallaght Hospital won won a Biomnis HealthCare Innovation Award this year, writes Orla O’Shea Project Officer at Tallaght Hospital.

Today at Tallaght Hospital, when you attend an outpatient appointment, you control the process using a new touch screen check-in system. During April 2013, Tallaght Hospital introduced touch screen check-in for its outpatient clinics, the first of its kind in Ireland.  This exciting and innovative service puts patients first, where they experience greater control, autonomy and involvement in their care, by taking an active part in their out-patient visit.

orlaOShea
Minister for Children Ms Frances Fitzgerald T.D., Ms Orla O'Shea, Mr. John O’ Sullivan, MD, Biomnis

This begins from the moment the patient arrives in the hospital. At the touch screen, they verify the accuracy of the information the hospital holds about them when they check-in from a choice of nine different languages. The advantage of this new system is that not only does each patient act as an independent check of the information, but equally for the growing diverse population in Ireland, patients for whom English is not their first language will be able to check the accuracy of this information in the language with which they are most familiar.

Subsequent to the verification of their details, the touch screen system prints a ticket that assigns each patient their “unique outpatient number” and directs them to their clinic location.

Whilst there are many patient benefits, there are equally many hospital benefits also. This new system allows hospital staff to track more accurately and efficiently the patient’s journey through the clinic. Emerging potential delays are more easily and readily identified, resulting in an improved, calm efficient journey through the outpatients for both patients and staff. The system also provides clinicians with real time clinic data which inform changes to improve the management and streamlining of clinics.

To date the many benefits that this initiative has resulted in include:

  • Reduced waiting time for patients sequenced by appointment time
  • Reduced overall time spent at appointments
  • Greater accuracy of health information, as patients are checking and verifying their own personal details
  • Streamlined patient movement to assist clinicians
  • Increased visibility for staff of a patient’s progress through the clinic
  • Automated updates to all relevant hospital systems for all staff

The success of this initiative lies in its ability to meet the changing needs of patients, and facilitating staff to support patients in having a greater involvement and engagement in their journey of care in the outpatient’s setting.

The successful implementation of the project is attributed to the effort and commitment of the Nursing, Medical, Clerical, Volunteer, ICT, Technical Service and Allied Health Professional staff who have engaged in realising the full potential of this project, and most importantly the patient’s who have embraced this new way of managing this important stage in their healthcare journey.