Queensland goes with the Q-Flow

The Prince Charles Hospital in Queensland has gone live with the Q-Flow patient scheduling system, distributed in Australia by the NEXA Group.

Already used extensively in Medicare offices throughout the country along with major universities, the Prince Charles Hospital installation is the first for a major hospital in Queensland.

Q-Flow is also being used in the medical imaging department at the Cabrini Hospital in Melbourne, and will go live at Robina Hospital on the Gold Coast in early 2012.

The installation of Q-Flow follows a $139 million upgrade to the Chermside-based Prince Charles, which has seen a significant expansion of services to meet the healthcare needs of people in the northern suburbs of Brisbane.

With remote patient check in capability, the system can send a text message in the instance of appointment delays to avoid patients having to wait. Surgeons and other staff can check appointment schedules and patient flow remotely from a smart phone.

Nurse unit manager for private practice, transit lounge and specialist outpatients at The Prince Charles Hospital, Belinda Faulkner, said the Q-Flow system has been installed initially in two high traffic areas – outpatient clinics and endoscopy outpatient clinics. Volunteers are on hand to assist patients if they have issues using the system or require further information.

The system will manage more than 500 patients per day in outpatients and endoscopy outpatients, which houses 43 specialist rooms ranging from cardiac surgery to haematology, oncology, sleep disorders and vascular surgery.

It will also be used to manage the flow of the vast amount of people entering the hospital, from visitors to those attending for various tests.

Using the system, patients will be able to check in on arrival by scanning a bar code on their appointment letter. Each patient is issued a ticket, and their arrival is announced to the appropriate clinicians via a web-based interface.

Patient privacy is protected by ensuring tickets use a numbering system. The tickets can be customised to provide personalised advice and other key messages from the hospital to ensure the patient’s visit is optimised.

Once the patient enters the virtual queue, their progress can be tracked and later analysed to improve patient flow and reduce waiting times. It can also be used to direct extra staff to certain areas with long waiting times.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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