Improving the patient experience at the Royal Berkshire Hospital

Royal Berkshire Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) now boasts world-class signage and information for patients, thanks to a project carried out by Luto.

The ED now has digital screens in waiting areas, with several cubicles also display up-to-date information. These displays will soon link to the hospital’s Electronic Patient Record System, providing patients with real-time information on waiting times throughout the department. These developments make the Royal Berkshire’s ED a world leader in patient information – a move which we hope will be adopted in other departments and hospitals throughout the UK.

The new signage and displays were put in place following a research project run by the ED team – called ‘Quality Time’. The project focused on the experience of patients, their carers and staff, and highlighted the various problems associated with the provision of accurate, useful information.

Dr David Mossop, ED and Intensive Care Unit consultant, said:

“There is good evidence that giving patients and their carers a better understanding of what to expect in ED, the alternatives of coming to ED, and an accurate idea of how long they might need to wait, reduces signifcantly their anxiety. It can also reduce the frequency of aggression towards staff. We have been working with Luto, patients, patient groups and staff to develop a better way of sharing information, and also to develop a smarter identity for our signs in the department.”

Victoria Parker, Director of Communications & Engagement, said:

“Luto and the team fixed a genuine problem that staff and patients identified and the addition of the information screens has vastly improved patient experience.”

The project also highlighted the need to improve the space and physical environment of the department, which resulted in an extension.

The value of consulting with service users has long been understood by Luto. Our commitment to making health information clear uses an evidence-based approach to better understand how users interact with communications.

Wayne Middleton, Chief Executive of Luto said:

The benefits of providing patients with clear, accurate and up-to-date information are obvious. Following extensive liaison with patients and staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, we decided that the adoption of digital signage would be a significant improvement to existing information channels, particularly as we now live in a digital age. We were lucky to work with an amazing team of staff and volunteers on the project, and are delighted with the outcome.”