The ‘Gold Standard’ for online patient booking systems

Case study: Swiftqueue and University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust

The ‘Gold Standard’ of online patient booking systems

University Hospitals of Derby and Burton (UHDB) comprises the Royal Derby Hospital, Queen’s Hospital, in Belvedere Road, Burton, Florence Nightingale Community Hospital in Derby, Sir Robert Peel Community Hospital in Tamworth and Samuel Johnson Community Hospital in Lichfield.

In April 2020, the UK found itself in the first Covid-19 lockdown. The phlebotomy services in Derbyshire faced an unprecedented challenge to administer patient services safely, and available sites across the region were reduced from 26 to just eight. This increased the demand on staff and resources at a time when social distancing was paramount.

Prior to the lockdown, Derbyshire’s phlebotomy service had no booking system and operated on a walk-in basis for patients. This was not sustainable, nor safe, during the pandemic and a national lockdown. 

Swiftqueue was able to quickly demonstrate it could provide the level of service and commitment needed to solve the challenges. The solution ensured a system that put patient safety first. 

Within the first week, Swiftqueue established a booking system across all 8 sites which went live on April 6th. The online system enabled patients to quickly and easily book blood tests, remotely. For patients struggling to access the Internet, carers or family members were able to book on their behalf. Use of Swiftqueue via onsite kiosks was also available for some walk-in patients. Swiftqueue quickly delivered a consistent and smooth flow of bookings which reduced a heavy flow of patients on site each morning. Waiting times of 1.5 hours were replaced by patients having to arrive five minutes before their appointments. More importantly, the booking system helped support the social distancing measures put in place at the Trust, for both patients and staff.  

By May 2021, Swiftqueue had been used more than 200,000 times to schedule blood tests. As well as use in the Phlebotomy Department, the system was also used for Covid-19 antibody testing and vaccinations for staff. This enabled more than 20,000 Covid-19 staff vaccinations. The feedback from staff and patients has been hugely positive and further use of the system is in discussion across the Trust. 

“Swiftqueue was streets ahead of the alternatives. It is the gold standard for online patient booking systems.”  – David Simpson – Deputy General Manager, Derbyshire Pathology 

The Trust plans to use the Swiftqueue booking system to integrate with primary care via the GP Record. This will allow GPs to agree testing verbally with patients (either on the phone, video call or face to face), and then record this agreement within the patient GP Record. Swiftqueue will generate the appropriate test booking slot and this process and outcome will be held within the system for primary and secondary care staff to view. This will reduce the number of steps previously required to book test appointments and also create huge time savings for staff in primary and secondary care checking as to the status of a patient and their tests.

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