Tech solution helps visitors return to Cork hospital during Covid-19

9 Oct 2020

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A Cork hospital has adopted a new scheduling system to help speed up the return of visitors during Covid-19.

Limerick-based tech firm YellowSchedule has launched a platform at the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital (SIVUH) in Cork to help visitors return as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. Building on its existing appointment scheduling platform, YellowSchedule teamed up with Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) to pilot a similar system for hospitals.

This included additional software design and modifications to address bottlenecks related to the flow of visitors, the resource burden of a manual system, and reliable contact tracing.

Following live testing and training with the platform, YellowSchedule said that its system has enabled SIVUH facilities to reintroduce patient visits in a safe and controlled manner while adhering to current public health guidelines.

Furthermore, the company claimed the platform has reduced the burden on staff who had been scheduling visitors over the phone and conducting in-person screening. It also said this has helped in the reduction of queueing at busy entrance points where social distancing may not be possible.

‘Very difficult and worrying period for most people’

“Yellow Schedule, alongside the expertise provided by HIHI, found a digital solution to a workflow problem with the healthcare system. The response from visitors has been rewarding,” said project lead Breeda Kelly of SIVUH.

“[The platform] reduces the demands on resources at the hospital, reduces queueing in reception areas and ultimately ensures patients and visitors get to maximise their precious time together in a safe environment.”

YellowSchedule CEO Martina Skelly added: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been a very difficult and worrying period for most people, so it has been hugely rewarding to work with SIVUH and HIHI to facilitate the reconnection of loved ones.

“The commitment of SIVUH staff to provide quality of care for their patients has been evident from the start. They took every effort to ensure a system that would enable longer-stay patients to benefit from visits from loved ones in a safe and managed way while also building a single accurate source for effective contact-tracing purposes.”

YellowSchedule was among the winners of HIHI’s Health Innovations 2020 awards announced in July. The annual call asked companies, start-ups and SMEs across the country to submit their ideas for pre-commercial products, solutions or services that could “significantly impact” healthcare in Ireland.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic