WiFi SPARK work in partnership with 80+ NHS Trusts across the UK to deliver its SPARK® Media Solution, offering tailored patient engagement and analytics solutions that integrate with clinical and administrative systems to solve sector-wide and site-specific pain points.

As an official exhibitor for the upcoming Healthcare Excellence Through Technology (HETT) conference in September, we caught up with WiFi SPARK's Marketing Director, Rebecca O'Donovan to discuss challenges around patient isolation, budgets in the sector and more.

HETT: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us, Rebecca. Tell us a bit about how your organisation currently supports the health and care sector.

Rebecca O'Donovan: SPARK® supports the health sector by providing free services to patients and staff over the WiFi to engage, entertain, educate and inform them as well as drive efficiencies and save costs to the NHS.

For patients
SPARK® empowers patients to take control of their stay within healthcare environments. With access to thousands of apps, patients can be entertained with live TV, streaming services, movies, games, audiobooks and digital print with magazines and newspapers. They are engaged with the healthcare organisation through surveys, electronic meal ordering, news from the site and charity information as well as educated through health videos, NHS links and access to NHS Choices information.

These facilities aid in increasing patients’ wellbeing and satisfaction, giving them a welcome distraction with the comfort of familiar applications at their fingertips.

With all of these resources available on their own device, trust-provisioned devices, or bedside units, the solution is inclusive of everyone and has transformed efficiencies for staff by freeing up their time.

For staff
In addition to having more time to focus on their roles as the patients are distracted, SPARK® not only enables staff to use all of the apps and services listed previously, but it also has a clinical side to the software. The solution can integrate with PAS and HL7, meaning that staff can easily show the patient their information, details about their health journey, and more. This information is shown on smaller, handheld devices like a tablet, and SPARK® Horizon bedside units, allowing access for staff if they leave their device behind. This allows patients to be more easily involved in their journey and have a greater sense of understanding.

For the healthcare organisations
The Trust sees many benefits from SPARK® by increasing efficiencies for staff and improving patients’ wellbeing. Charities are also promoted through the service encouraging donations and increasing exposure.

On top of that, the solution assists with a number of CQUIN targets and provides cost savings. For example, in a typical 600-bed hospital, in one year, Trusts could save £182,000 by using electronic meal ordering and £190,000 by implementing digital newspapers and magazines.

SPARK® also contributes to two latest CQUIN targets:

  1. Supporting patients to drink, eat and mobilise (DrEaMing) after surgery
    The SPARK® platform provides support and messaging surrounding this.
  2. Flu vaccinations for frontline healthcare workers – as above we can use staff WiFi for messaging and comms to staff.

The solution is supported, maintained, and looked after 24/7/365 by dedicated IT staff, alleviating the strain on healthcare organisations IT departments.

HETT: What are some of the biggest challenges that you have identified when working closely with your NHS/Care partners?

Rebecca O'Donovan: From an organisational level, budgets are a big factor when it comes to deciding whether to move forward with a new entertainment and engagement platform. Other considerations include staff involvement and resource as well as return on investment.

On an individual level, patient challenges include isolation and emotional wellbeing, due to a number of factors such as limited visitor numbers, lack of money to pay for entertainment, and exclusion or inability to access services.
WiFi SPARK will be exhibiting at HETT Show 2022 on 27-28 September. Stand: B16

HETT: Tell us how working with your products and solutions can help tackle some of the challenges that exist within digital health.

Rebecca O'Donovan: Whilst we appreciate these are factors that the NHS and patients are facing at present, our solution will save costs and time, reduce wastage and paper, accelerate patient discharge, bolster emotional wellbeing, reduce isolation and drive staff efficiencies, starting from the first year of implementation.

How? Through SPARK®.

  • Save costs – utilising digital applications and working with existing infrastructure to provide new state-of-the-art solutions.

  • Reduce wastage – through apps like electronic meal ordering can save food wastage and cost to the Trust as well as drive efficiencies for staff.

  • Accelerate discharge – through educating patients about their conditions.
    Example: Providing access to health videos, a patient safety video, NHS links, and information.

  • Bolster wellbeing – Allowing patients and staff to communicate and be entertained in their downtime contributes to an increased mood and the education applications encourage and empower patients and staff.

  • Reduce isolation – for example, through video calling through SPARK® allows loved ones to see each other virtually to communicate, when there may be restrictions on visitor numbers, or for times when visits are not permitted.

  • Drive efficiencies – through providing staff access to clinical services at the bedside as well as using the system to request things.

HETT: Great breakdown of your services! We will be hosting HETT Connect again this year, enabling speakers to meet with exhibitors on a 1:1 basis. Who are you hoping to meet?

Rebecca O'Donovan: We are hoping to meet a few people at this year’s event. Speakers we’d like to meet with include Beverly Bryant, from Guy’s & St Thomas NHS, Masood Ahmed, from NHS Black Country & West Birmingham CCG and Paul Rice from Bradford Teaching Hospitals.

From an exhibitor side, we hope to meet with app developers/suppliers who would like to get their applications in front of patients/staff within hospitals as our platform is already in 120 hospitals in the UK.

HETT: As HETT Show approaches (27-28 Sept @ExCeL London), tell us what you are looking forward to the most at HETT Show 2022.

Rebecca O'Donovan: Connecting and networking with healthcare professionals to get SPARK® and our applications to patients and staff who need them, but also finding new app providers who we can partner with to enrich our solution and provide better care for patients and drive efficiencies for staff.

Thank you for your time today, Rebecca. It’s been a pleasure catching up with you and learning more about how WiFi SPARK contributes to the evolution of the healthcare sector. We look forward to seeing you at HETT Show (27th & 28th September, ExCeL London)!

Register for HETT 2022

Join the Community
Get the latest healthtech and digital health news, reports, webinars and offers direct to your inbox.