Digital signage in A&E helps reduce winter pressure

“When speaking to various patients in our department since our screens were installed, they would definitely rethink who they should contact the next time they feel unwell.”

Sarah Wisniewski, General Manager, Emergency Services, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

 

You’ve seen the newspapers, the television, the internet in general. The reports all say that the NHS is in crisis. The A&E departments are struggling, and it’s not helping that people show up to A&E who don’t really need to be there. This is where we can help. Our screens are a brilliant way to educate patients and visitors to all hospital clinics and departments. We are the UK’s leading provider of fully managed, content driven digital signage solutions to acute NHS Trusts. Working with the largest Trusts in the country, we now have a growing number of digital displays in some of the busiest A&E departments in the UK.

These screens are currently full of messages about the alternative healthcare services available to the public, and who should and shouldn’t be using A&E. Let’s go through just a few of the most useful messages:

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust opted for a message using artwork from the NHS Choose Well campaign. It’s easy to digest and should be recognisable to a number of patients.

Barts Health NHS Trust has a whole series of messages about A&E, here are a couple of them. They clearly define what an emergency is, and where to seek help for non-emergency situations. They also offer advice on visiting a local GP.

Why wait for hours on end in A&E, when Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has this list of local, late night pharmacies displayed on its screens?

The Emergency Departments at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust also have their own selection of brilliant messages with treatment alternatives and a clear, concise definition of what a major, life-threatening illness or injury actually entails.

Of course, the people waiting in A&E who have made the wrong decision are already adding to the pressure and delays in A&E, but our messages seem to be having some effect on where they choose to go the next time they’re ill. We’re also displaying some of the messages on other screens in other departments around hospitals, so that patients and visitors might learn what their options are before they have the chance to make the wrong decision.

It’s a really important initiative. Anything that helps to educate patients about when it is appropriate to visit A&E indirectly helps to relieve the winter pressure currently being experienced and hopefully ensures that the same thing does not happen again. We currently have variety of A&E screen bundles available and the costs are lower than you might think. Please do let us know if  you think this is something your Trust might be interested in.