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Serco helps Hospital keep in touch

Published: 1 Aug 2012

Leading Health provider Serco has been piloting the world's first real time Wi-Fi enabled touch screen application known as In Touch. In Touch has been developed exclusively at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Scotland in collaboration between NHS Forth Valley and Serco.

As a result, patients who require a porter at Forth Valley Royal Hospital are to get a better deal, thanks to a new electronic system which will provide them with a faster and more streamlined service between the ward and X Ray or scanning departments.

Wards and departments log jobs directly onto an electronic screen and porters can then allocate themselves a task. The screen operates on a traffic light system, and lets clinical staff know when patients have been collected, when they are in transit and when they have reached their destination. This is proving so popular that the roll out programme is being expanded and accelerated to more departments across the hospital.

Serco Contract Director at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Mike Mackay said: "the idea came about from the growing use of touch screen devices entering the home and workplace. We were convinced that we could harness this technology to create one of the first unique systems within the healthcare market. Patients and the wider hospital get a much needed and faster system than ever before. Each task is prioritised according to the clinical urgency and the task is allocated immediately. The transparency that the system provides the service users is the clever bit."

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Patients are allocated a porter for the entire journey and clinical staff are able to track how their journey is progressing. It also eliminates patients being left outside X Ray and scanning departments whilst organising the logistics for a porter to return them to their bed."

Patient confidentiality is guaranteed at all times. Only the name of the patient and their ward is entered onto the screen. There is no reference to any medical condition.

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