Manchester hospitals install 97 patient information screens

20 February 2013

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has installed enhanced digital information screens to deliver information in real time to patients throughout its group of hospitals.

The Trust has rolled the system out to six of its hospitals using 97 LCD screens in public areas.

In the initial phase of the project four 55-inch LCD screens were installed in the A&E Department of the Manchester Royal Infirmary. The screens are synchronised to play the same content and are constantly refreshed with live information relating to the status of the department and patient waiting times.

The system can present dynamic content for richer patient guidance and medical information compared to traditional media such as leaflets and posters. By creating dynamic content with audio, which can be as simple as a voiceover, hospitals can present more detailed and persuasive messages that help patients maximise the benefits of their treatment and enjoy a better overall experience.

The Trust can provide recommendations tailored to the particular department where each screen is located, such as advice on optimising fluid intake to enjoy the best possible ultrasound images. The system allows them to manage content centrally while also providing each department with their own portal to upload relevant messages such as real-time status updates and departmental notices.

The main display of each screen can be used to show television programmes, which provides entertainment helping to enhance the experience of patients while waiting. TV programming can be selected specifically to appeal to the types of audiences in each department, interspersed with appropriate medical information films.

A live ticker displaying information such as waiting times and the status of various clinics is displayed permanently at the bottom of the screen. In other areas programming may default to the BBC newsfeed or magazine type shows. This capability also allows the hospital to show content of local or national interest, such as coverage of the Olympic Games. The system is able to feed a combination of television shows and the hospitals’ own content while continuously displaying the real-time status information patients need.

Catherine Bartlett, Acting Lead Nurse for Urgent Care says: “The screens are a good source of entertainment and distraction while they are waiting. We are also using the screens as a way of informing patients of the approximate waiting times which has meant that they don’t need to ask our reception staff as often and have an indication of when they will be seen.”

“Patients find the hospital information interesting. In the future we hope to develop the screens to promote Choose Well messages and display more detailed information with the intention of educating patients on what service to use and therefore reducing the overall waiting time and the number of repeat visitors who could access healthcare services elsewhere such as their local Pharmacist.”


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