Outpatient System for Effective Use of Waiting Time at Hospitals

Average hospital waiting time: 1 hour and 51 minutes

The long rainy season has begun, during which often people can fall ill or get a little out of shape. Many people in Japan undergo medical examinations in spring. If the results indicate that re-examination is required, the person may need to visit a larger hospital. However many people dread the long waiting time at hospitals and may even avoid going. According to a hospital’s survey, the average time required for a new patient to see a doctor after arriving at the reception counter is one hour and 51 minutes. How can we use this waiting time more effectively?

Normally, many people eagerly sit near the consulting rooms, prepared to enter whenever their names are called. One cannot even use the restroom without hesitation, and the only activities available are reading or staring out the window. We believe many people wish to use their waiting time more freely.

To address this kind of concern, Fujitsu developed the Outpatient Guide System so outpatients can more effectively use their waiting time at hospitals. Many patients at Aichi Medical University Hospital, which often engages in progressive initiatives, are already benefiting from using this system.

Effective use of waiting time and efficient payment

In this system, patients use a NAVIT, which is a dedicated device that resembles an electronic piece of paper. After receiving a NAVIT at the consultation reception counter, patients can easily check how many people are currently waiting ahead of them and confirm the schedule for his or her individual consultation or examination. As the NAVIT is about the size of a postcard and weights about as much as a smartphone, it is no burden to carry around. NAVIT can notify the patient even if he or she is at a restaurant some distance from the consultation room as follows: “Your consultation will begin soon. Please wait near Consultation Room 15 of Outpatient Clinic 35 on the third floor.” So long as the patient carries this device, he or she can eat, have tea, continue to work, or do anything else while spending the waiting time freely.

Meanwhile, the hospital can send information via the NAVIT device regarding consultations or examinations after checking against individual electronic medical records as well as messages to individuals. Since each staff member can send data independently, even a large hospital can provide detailed, consistent care. In addition, patients can quickly pay their bills simply by passing the NAVIT device over the self-checkout machine’s barcode reader.

This system is the first in Japan to use the display of barcodes to identify outpatients on wireless devices. Fujitsu will continue to improve the quality of medical services and develop technologies that can be useful for each individual patient.