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Patient engagement through technology

Using the very latest technology, today’s patient entertainment and engagement systems bring more benefits to the patient than the ability to watch TV. Nor are they just a service to the patient; they can help hospitals to improve operational efficiencies and productivity, gather data, process patient feedback and provide access to educational material. They can even be utilised to help Trusts to demonstrate good practice to meet certain CQUIN targets.


WiFi SPARK’s Fiona Bayle has over 20 years of dedicated industry experience in digital solutions, systems integration and channel sales. She shares her thoughts around how the latest Wi-Fi based patient entertainment systems can deliver so much more than the legacy system of the late 20th century.


A McKinsey patient survey found that more than 75% of all patients would like to use digital healthcare services. That must include patient entertainment systems that go beyond entertainment to engagement, including advanced and convenient features. From watching live TV and streaming videos, accessing educative content, seeing important messaging and ads or even request features and meal ordering, patient engagement systems can ultimately boost patient mood and happiness. 


With positive patient feedback, NHS staff can focus on delivering a better healthcare service to meet wider CQUIN targets and goals.


A WiFi-enabled patient engagement system can help a Trust to achieve goals ranging from enabling patients to get online simply and easily, to using wayfinding services and appointment check-in through the WiFi. 


Reduce Food Wastage

A sophisticated patient engagement system can have various integrated features. One that is particularly noteworthy is a meal ordering feature which can replace the old meal card system. 


If an average of four meals per ward based on a 25 ward hospital are incorrectly delivered, it equates to around 200 wasted meals (lunch and dinner). Assuming a meal cost of £2.50 and two services a day, this can mean £500 is spent daily on wasted food. In one year, the total waste cost on average would be a staggering £182,500.


The meal ordering feature allows patients to order from an electronic menu which clearly states the ingredients so patients can choose according to their dietary requirements. 


The system can also be linked to individual patients, their bed and ward number. So if they need to be moved, their food can be redirected to them. This helps to cut down on food wastage even further. 


Feedback and analytics

Choosing the right WiFi provider will give the hospital Trust valuable analytics allowing beneficial service improvements to be made using the data around patient patterns, for instance. 


Data is important as it gives insight into where resources are being allocated and where they can be better utilised. Knowing how patients and even visitors interact with the hospital’s service allows the Trust to tailor offerings to align with that behaviour, which results in a significant boost in NHS productivity and a more efficient hospital environment.


Feedback surveys are equally as important as they allow patients to have their say on the way that the NHS operates. They also help the NHS to know what they can do to improve the level of treatment and service in the future.


Patient and staff wellbeing

At the University of North Midlands NHS Trust, where there has been a patient engagement system in place for some time, clinical practitioners across multi-disciplines are able to access information instantly. The high-quality and simple-to-use package featured a full-security wraparound service to guarantee systems were secure.


Thanks to the improved connectivity, administrative tasks were reduced which freed up valuable time that staff could then use to focus on patients. It also made hospital visits less stressful and led to faster recuperation.


Another way the NHS can provide a more patient-centric experience is by making educational videos and further information on healthcare easily accessible. They’re great ways for patients to stay in the know about their injuries and helps them to better understand their treatments.


Integrating hospital entertainment systems with smartphones and tablets can also increase staff productivity. 


For example, SPARK Media allows healthcare professionals to show important information to patients. This information can include the date of discharge, any educational content relating to their care and results.


There are also other options, such as a service request feature. This allows patients to make small requests via the platform rather than taking a member of staff away from their task. This also boosts overall productivity and wellbeing as ad-hoc requests like these can be completed by the correct member of staff.