New A&E audio system helps patients choose the right service

Head of Emergency Medicine, Dr Anthony Kearns, listens to the audio messages in the Emergency Department

Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s Emergency Department (A&E) has adopted a new audio system to ensure patients are in the right place.  

The Audiebant system is pre-programmed to play various messages at regular intervals and includes a regular message to remind patients that the Emergency Department (ED) is for life-threatening and emergency conditions only. 

Head of Department for Emergency Medicine, Dr Anthony Kearns is pleased with the system. He said: “By playing these messages in the waiting room, we have certainly got through to people as they have been telling us that they didn’t realise certain facts until they heard them in the waiting room. 

“We have been under a lot of pressure recently with high attendances, so we have started to play a new message: ‘Stop! Have you  called 111 first? This Emergency Department is for serious and life-threatening emergencies. Please call 111 who will be able to give you advice and direct you to the most appropriate minor injury unit or other service, if needed’ in the hope that people who do not need to be in the department can be treated more suitably elsewhere. 

“The beauty of the system is that is really subtle, and a host of different voices are used in different accents which helps. We plan to use the text from these messages to be displayed on the waiting room screens too.” 

Other regular messages cover topics such as Covid announcements – social distancing, hands, face, space and the current ED wait time. 

The system has been created by local firm Audiebant. Commercial Director, Josh Dean, said: “We have worked closely with Blackpool Victoria Hospital to provide them with an informative yet relaxing audio experience. 

“We’ve had really positive feedback so far on the Audiebant system, and we look forward to our continued work with both this and other hospitals across the country.” 

Dr Kearns added: “We hope that the new system will help inform some patients of using the right service which is not necessarily A&E.” 

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