Last week, the Fracture Clinic became the first department at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust to implement the use of ‘I’ve Arrived,’ a new app that helps manage patient flow into outpatient departments and, early in the New Year, will also undertake a COVID-19 symptom check ahead of a patient’s attendance at clinic.
Talking about the new app, Helen Williams, Transformation Lead, said: “As face to face outpatient attendances are essential for some consultations which cannot be conducted over the telephone or by video, one of the most important considerations for all of us is ensuring compliance with Covid-19 guidance. To help us maintain social distancing within our clinics and departments, we need to be able to manage patient throughput in these areas.”
“The app enables patients to notify us when they arrive at the hospital site and wait in their cars or elsewhere until they are invited in when there is space in the clinic area, thus enabling us to maintain social distancing.”
Helen continues: “In the New Year the ‘I’ve Arrived’ app will also routinely prompt a check of patients who are due to attend a face to face appointment for COVID symptoms before they leave home. This helps prevents patients attending who may be experiencing symptoms and re-schedules the appointment accordingly.”
“Everyone involved has worked remarkably over the last few months, adapting to new ways of working and providing care for our patients”, explains Clinical Matron Kate Schroder-Hockey. “It’s really exciting to see how innovation and technology is being used to help during these difficult times.”
“We had a great first day using ‘I’ve Arrived’ in our Fracture Clinic. Thanks to the app, patients are able to ‘queue’ by waiting in their cars or outside areas until they are messaged to enter the clinic. This has really helped us to maintain social distancing, ensuring that our colleagues and patients remain safe.”
Critical to success of these changes is ensuring that patients have an up to date mobile number recorded on their medical record and that they look out for messages from the hospital. Our experience to date is that about a third of patients do not have a mobile number recorded and some patients who are being sent the message are not activating the system.
Of course, we understand that not everyone will be able to use the system and that won’t stop them having their appointment. But for those who do have mobile phones they can really help us keep them and our staff safe by providing their up to date mobile number and when attending an outpatient appointment look out for text messages from the hospital.