Poll: Do your local healthcare providers share live waiting time data for A&E and urgent care via a patient facing app or website?

The latest question we posed to our health tech audience revolved around the availability of live data for urgent care.

Analysis published by CQC following a 6-month pilot project where an app shared waiting times for A&E and urgent treatment centres across east Kent and Northamptonshire noted: reduced minors’ profile across all sites of 5%; 11% reduction in minors’ attendances at A&E Departments; and 3% to 4% reduction in proportion of minors’ attendances out of all attendances in A&E Departments and MIUs – the observed reductions vary dependent on the day of the week.

HTN took to the App Store to explore what apps are available, finding an app [Live Wait Times] developed by University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust that provides live waiting times across North Staffordshire, Cheshire and North Wales localities. The app shares an anticipated wait time and the number of patients.

This led us to garner an estimate from our audience around the transparency of this data, whether the data is made available elsewhere around the country, and whether citizens know if it is. We asked: do your healthcare providers share live waiting time data for A&E and urgent care via a patient facing app or website?

76 people took part in the poll, with participants from a wide range of backgrounds including information specialists, doctors, CCIO, communication professionals and project leaders.

The majority – 55 percent – said no, their healthcare providers do not provide that live data. Participants selecting this option included an information officer, digital programme director, director of community services and integration engineer.

26 percent were unsure, which is interesting in itself, especially considering the healthcare background of our audience. Is this because the voters have not recently used A&E services as patients, or is there a need for more work to be done around the communication and availability of this data? Participants here included a research delivery manager, business change implementer, assistant director and governance lead.

The least popular answer was a confident ‘yes’, with 18 percent of participants choosing this option. Here, voters included a number of chief information officers, project manager and communications professional.