Patients are doing it for themselves

CST’s EasyCall buttons give reassurance to outpatients at The Royal Surrey County Hospital

The Royal Surrey County Hospital, based just outside Guildford, offers a full range of general hospital services and specialist care including cancer, ear, nose and throat, maxillo-facial and oral surgery. As a major treatment centre, it has a bustling outpatients department seeing about five to six thousand patients every week.

In the modern hospital environment there is always a constant need to drive for efficiency, reduce waste and maintain a safe and high quality service that puts the patient first. With this in mind, and to streamline booking-in procedures in outpatient departments, The Royal Surrey County Hospital has introduced a self booking-in system that uses EasyCall buttons from Call Systems Technology alongside computerised touch screens.

When a patient arrives at the hospital they can either use the booking-in screen at the main reception area and then proceed to the relevant department, or they can go directly to their destination department and book themselves in at a ‘reception kiosk’ there.

“Generally our patients are used to self check-in from their doctors’ surgeries,” says Ross Buttery, outpatients services manager. “But every now and again someone needs assistance and we wanted to make sure they didn’t feel abandoned. All they have to do is press the EasyCall button and one of the duty team will be right there.”

CST has supplied The Royal Surrey County Hospital with three wireless repeaters, a paging transmitter and an amplifier, so that all the outpatient departments, as well as the front and rear reception get signal. The pagers are carried by the duty team who cover all outpatient departments. Generally there is only one person on duty at a time, with an additional pager located at the front reception desk as a back-up in busy periods.

 “The queues at outpatient receptions have significantly reduced since we introduced the new system,” says Ross Buttery. “But there are always patients who don’t like using touch screens and with the EasyCall buttons in action we can make sure they get someone to listen to their concerns. When an EasyCall button is pressed it alerts the duty team’s pagers and lets them know the location of the request so that they can respond quickly and reassure the patient.”

The Royal Surrey Hospital is introducing the system gradually and aims to have it up and running in all its ten outpatients departments by April 2013. At present there are EasyCall buttons located in four departments and at the rear reception area.

 “CST’s EasyCall was the best product for us to ensure we maintained a high standard of patient care while at the same time doing away with manned reception desks,” says Ross Buttery.

“This is a new use of our EasyCall buttons and an interesting project for us,” says Juliet Patten of CST. “There is a real drive in the clinical environment to use communication systems to ease patient stress and make hospital visits run smoothly.”

For details, Freephone Call Systems Technology on 0800 389 5642 or call 020 8381 1338, email the company at or visit the CST website