National Blood Service Donor Queue Management

queue management system to manage donors

2017 Update: Qminder no longer offers an overview monitor with a number system. We now use Apple TV to display the queue status! Our customers have also switched to a name-based service system, and are seeing better service metrics.

About the National Blood Service of Estonia

The Blood Donation CenterThe Blood Donation Center</a> is part of the North Estonia Medical Center. The North Estonia Medical Center is Estonia’s foremost hospital. Their mission is to provide top-level patient-friendly healthcare and to promote the development of medicine in Estonia. In addition to the main donation center, the organization is also doing daily trips to other cities, events and larger offices to reach more donors.

Donating blood after queueing

The Need for Queue Management System

Their aim with implementing queue management was to increase donor satisfaction and keep the line organized. During their field-trips they may see more than 400 donors per day. Blood donation is a noble cause and every donor should be treated with utmost respect and best service possible.

Their customer feedback showed a clear need for queue management. Donors were complaining about people cutting in line and the queue being unorganized.

What made this request different from others was the environment: the queue management system had to be portable and simple enough to be set up and taken down every day at a new location. Furthermore the facilities and locations are different in nature every time.

Finally, there had to be as few wires as possible. This was a clear request as they have had experience with different systems before, where each parts of the system required a custom cable: the displays, buttons to call “next”, ticket dispensers, etc.

staff working with the queue

Setting Up a Queue Management System for a Medical Facility

For a ticket dispenser we chose our modern take-a-number printer. This allows the privacy needed in this type of location. The provided Star AsuraCPRNT printers are equipped with a WiFi adapter. This gives the client the flexibility needed to adapt the queue management system to a new location every day.

The client is using 2 printers as they have 2 different lines: one for medical check-up and another for the actual blood donation. Quite often people have to quit between these 2 steps as they might not be eligible for blood donation.

The medical check-up department was already equipped with laptops. Qminder runs in their internet browser. No new software had to be downloaded.

The nurses handling the delicate procedure of blood donation had strict limitations of space and safety. There was no room for laptops or even tablets on their desks. Wires, where people can trip over, are highly unwanted next to people with needles.

As a perfect solution the minimal version of Qminder Dashboard can also run on smartphones. They now have elegant white Samsung La’Fleur Android phones with Qminder Connect application running on it. They can see how many people are waiting in line and can call out the next number.

To further support and make the steps understandable for the donors an Overview Monitors was put in place. Again, as the system had to be portable, wireless and easy to use - a standard TV was not an option.

Qminder Overview Monitor was set up on a Samsung Galaxy Tab with a standard tablet holder and a tripod stand. The Overview Monitor notifies donors with a bright notification on the screen and also by sound.

staff using smart phone to manage queue

Why Qminder is a Great Queue Management System for Hospitals and Clinics

As Qminder is a cloud-based queue management system for hospitals, a standard 3G internet router was bought by the customer. All of the described devices are connect to the router over WiFi.

  • We provided a portable and easy to set up system. The system is usable within seconds as they are powered up. No need for extra configuration. Changing or adding devices and users to the system based on locations needs is seamless.
  • Qminder is wireless and highly adaptive to different locations.
  • The system is very affordable and has low running costs.
  • Qminder is available in multiple languages. Estonian is used in this case.
  • There was no special training needed to use the system. Even the staff that was not informed about the first pilot of the system and who have had trouble with others queue management systems in their long careers, were using the system within minutes and gave warm feedback about the usability.

The Feedback

After more than half a year of usage we have gathered feedback from both the staff, donors and upper management.

The donors love Qminder, because it has made the customer journey clearer and the line is organized. There is no more cutting in line and customer satisfaction has gone up. From hundreds of positives comments about the queue management system here are some examples:

  • "Wonderful. This way there is no cutting in line."
  • "It clears everything up!"
  • "Good and convenient solution."
  • "A setup that is easy to follow for both the donors and staff."

The staff themselves have highlighted the usability of the system. The use of modern technology like smartphones and tablets was just a positive surprise and made them more acceptable of a new system.

  • "There is always problems with new systems. I was hesitant at first, but actually it was really easy to use and there were no problems!"
  • "Wait? And I don't have to do anything else myself? It just works? - That's great!"

This client provided some of the most challenging requirement for a queue management system. We are extremely happy to work with them and to see that Qminder has proven to be the best choice for the Blood Donation Center. Their cause is noble and we love to be part of making the life of their staff and donors easier.

display to show queue status

queue status at the blood service

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