Patients asked to check-in pain level

Michelle Kelly, Business Service Manager; Gavin O'Neill, Consultant in Emergency Medicine; Geraldine McKay, Director of Acute Services and Isobel McClintock, Emergency Department Manager stand with one of the two new self-check-in kiosks in Altnagelvin's Emergency Department.
Michelle Kelly, Business Service Manager; Gavin O'Neill, Consultant in Emergency Medicine; Geraldine McKay, Director of Acute Services and Isobel McClintock, Emergency Department Manager stand with one of the two new self-check-in kiosks in Altnagelvin's Emergency Department.

Patients at Altnagelvin Hospital’s Emergency Department will be asked to score their pain level via new self-service check-in kiosks.

The Western Health and Social Care Trust has said the new technology will provide patients with an easy-to-use self-streaming system.

As well as checking into the Accident and Emergency wing, patients will also be asked to report their condition using a touch screen kiosk.

Trust bosses said the kiosks provide an opportunity to enhance the current triage system which is in operation within the Emergency Department; minimise delays and signpost patients to the appropriate care stream.

The kiosks will be located in the reception area and can be used by patients over the age of 14 who self-present.

The new system uses ‘one touch’ technology to let patients input information discreetly and will allow patients more privacy if they do not wish to discuss their illness/problem with the ED reception staff.

The information that patients enter using the kiosks is automatically matched to the patient record on the Trust’s Patient Administration System. They are also asked a series of questions about their condition and to score their pain level.

Geraldine McKay, Director of Acute Services, Western Health and Social Care Trust said: “As part of the Western Trust’s commitment to the Unscheduled Care Improvement programme, the Trust strives to find ways in which to modernise its services in line with evidence-based practice and research in efforts to ensure that up to 95 per cent of patients complete their emergency care journey within four hours.

“We are delighted to be the first HSC Trust in N. Ireland to offer this latest technology to our ED patients and we hope that this new system will help to minimise lengthy waiting times for triage in our Emergency Department where possible.”

Gavin O’Neill, a Consultant in Emergency Medicine based at Altnagelvin Hospital, urged the public to consider the best way to get medical help to assess and quickly treat their illness or ailment.

“Depending on the severity of the illness, patients may wish to speak to a local pharmacist or consult their local GP or GP Out of Hours services in the first instance. However, if you or a family member suspect what you are experiencing is of a more serious nature then do not hesitate to attend the hospital’s Emergency Department or call 999 if necessary,” he said.