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Britain’s first NHS Trust to deploy innovative patient engagement platform
Emma Kennedy - December 7, 2015

University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) is working with WiFi SPARK to develop a market leading, WiFi based, patient focused engagement platform, to be deployed over the WiFi network.

The aim is to provide a context aware WiFi service to patients and visitors, providing a genuine and relevant benefit to those who interact with the WiFi SPARK service through UHNM’s WiFi network.

The Patient Engagement Platform is the first thing users see when connecting to the WiFi network. This Platform is not only feature rich, offering help, fun and useful information which allows the Trust to engage directly with the patient and visitor, but more importantly the platform presents simple access to the Trust’s existing patient check in system provided by Savience, the existing wayfinding solution provided by Mazemaps and soon more innovation with patient meal ordering.

WiFi SPARK is working closely with UHNM to ensure that patient/visitor communication is optimised. For patients and visitors accessing the WiFi, this is achieved by presenting a video, playable on click, where the Chief Executive, Mark Hackett addresses the user directly using the Patient Engagement Platform. (PEP)

The ‘Children’s Corner’ is a section of the WiFi PEP that has been developed especially for kids. Here, they can play games directly through the portal, without actually signing in to the internet, yet with all legal compliance issues and filtering covered.

Whilst WiFi SPARK’s approach is more than just a gateway to the internet, it provides the opportunity for patients to engage with non-healthcare interests – a valuable distraction to some. Medical staff are less often asked for directions, or basic information which is now available in the palm of a hand.

Mobile data access in buildings often suffers, but the WiFi SPARK service provides an allocation of free internet access each day, where the user can send messages to home, or check in with loved ones.

UHNM has incorporated a feedback form into the WiFi service, where users can rate the service and leave feedback. Feedback to date has been extremely positive with ratings on average, “very good”, proving the fact that the service genuinely helps patients and visitors.