Thames Hospital will become the first hospital in the country to trial a patient kiosk in the Emergency Department, an idea first mooted by its clinical director Dr Ruth Large last year.
The patient kiosk has been designed and developed in New Zealand by Health Test Ltd.
It gives patients the opportunity when they come into the Emergency Department to self-register and have their height, weight, BMI blood pressure, pulse and oxygen saturation measured electronically.
Dr Large was one of three finalists in the HINZ-sponsored New Zealand Clinicians challenge in November last year.
Clinicians from around New Zealand submitted 27 work-related problems, which they thought would benefit from an information technology solution and these were then made available to IT vendors to work on.
Dr Large said nursing and reception staff will collect the information from the kiosk to allow for more private collection of patient details and to speed up the triage process.
The kiosk implementation at Thames Hospital is a pilot programme and will be trialled in conjunction with the National Institute for Health Innovation.
This pilot aims to explore the acceptability and implantation issues of the kiosk technology in a real New Zealand emergency department setting. It will collect both patient and provider perspectives.
“In most emergency departments in the country, patients give their details first to a receptionist and then to a triage nurse.
“It is very difficult to ensure privacy of information in this process and it is also time consuming for both the patient and the triage team.
“My hope is that we can demonstrate a speeding up of our triage practice as well as finding out if use of this technology is acceptable to the patients and the staff,” said Dr Large.
The trial of the kiosk will be voluntary and only involve patients who come to the front desk of the hospital and not those who arrive by ambulance.
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