Hospital waiting times on digital displays

Waiting woes

As you probably know by now, we do some brilliant healthcare messages for our NHS Trust partners. We make messages about health awareness issues, hospital events, infection control, way finding, hospital FAQs and much, much more. They’re always informative, reliable and NHS Trust approved. But really, deep in our heart of hearts, we know that that’s not what you’re probably there for.

If you’re in a hospital waiting room, it’s highly likely that things aren’t the best for you. You’re unwell, and you’ve come for some treatment and possibly some tender loving care. While the information that the Trust is having an open day in a couple of weeks time is undeniably important and should definitely be on the screens, we know that you may not be able to focus your full attention on that right now. Not to worry. Those messages are great for staff and visitors. We have something even better for you: live updates.

That’s right. We have spoken about this a few times before, but it’s worth reiterating. Some of our healthcare messages are editable by hospital staff – they can fill in the blank areas with their own text. So you can know in real time how long your wait is likely to be, whether your clinic is running behind, or which doctor is on duty. The ability to update wait times especially is brilliant for A&E departments, where appointments aren’t scheduled and multiple people arrive without any idea of when they’ll be seen by a doctor. Take, for instance, this message from the Emergency Department at Doncaster Royal Infirmary:


It’s easy to update with an approximate number of patients in the ED and a realistic wait time for these patients, so everyone is kept in the loop and frustrations are kept to a minimum.

Alternatively, if you’re waiting in a clinic and you have an appointment but there are many other clinics on at the same time, it can be a little confusing. Here’s a perfect example of how our messages can help, from the King’s College Breast Radiology Clinic:


This simple table is clear and easy to understand, and lets everyone know the wait time for their specific examination.

It’s also nice to know the names of the staff who will be treating you. It makes the experience more personal, and makes it easier for you to seek out the person in the know if you have questions. This little bit of extra information is included in this message from Kingston Hospital’s Paediatrics clinic. Nursing staff, the receptionist and the phlebotomist are all named so patients can get to know the staff that little bit better.


Is there any clinic information you’d like to see on hospital screens? Feel free to let us know if you think we’ve missed a trick when it comes to clinic waiting rooms – we’re committed to continuing to improve patient experience through digital signage.