Bright Ideas: improving access to digital health resources

QR info pods to provide waiting room resources

Steffan Gimblett of Pontardawe Primary Care Centre, Swansea was the winner of the inaugural Bright Ideas Awards in Wales.

The problem:

Our reception area was very cluttered with posters and didn’t communicate information to patients in a good way. We have an up to date website but we didn’t seem to promote online services to patients at all. We were spending a lot of money on printing leaflets and documents and needed to cut our costs and our carbon footprint.

The Bright Idea:

We produced a QR info pod for patients which contained links to all our online services, social media and relevant information about the practice. It also contains:

  • Links to an A-Z guide of self-help resources, including downloadable leaflets and videos
  • A section on local health initiatives
  • A section dedicated to vaccine resources and information
  • A section dedicated to UK wide health information such as antibiotics awareness, how to give blood and how to choose the right service.

Patients simply scan the code using their smartphone and they have instant access to the digital information we want them to see. We are also able to use Google Analytics to track how often each QR code is scanned giving us a way to measure the use of the pods. The system took six months to set up. We audited which documents we printed the most and decided what we wanted to communicate most to patients. We then contacted design and digital companies for prototypes and agreed on the best design.

The QR pods cost £280 to produce, however we are now saving at least £90 per month in print costs alone with additional savings on staff time and less administration. This monthly saving has recovered the costs of the pods. The digital interaction has enabled the use of a new way to engage with patients and get feedback.

The impact:

Patients. Availability to scan practice and health information to their smart phone to be read at a time convenient to them.

There has been great feedback from patients for the effort put into communicating with patients.

Workforce. Time saved on having to identify and print documents for patients.

Practice. We have experience an upsurge in our Twitter followers and online registrations of nearly 300%.

There has been a drastic drop in the amount of forms we print for patients as they can be scanned, leading to practice cost savings.

We are now working with Barnardos, Childline, the NSPCC and the Police as they have asked us to design and produce a QR Info Pod aimed at 11-19 year olds promoting the services they offer.


You can find more information including another video and PDF download at the Practice Index website.

Bright Ideas for General Practice

The RCGP’s Bright Ideas initiative recognises that GPs and practice staff regularly see opportunities to improve their practice, and often do so by taking a fresh and innovative approach. We want these new approaches to be recognised, celebrated and shared, to inspire other practices to consider implementing ideas which have been successful elsewhere to address issues in their practice and to encourage innovative thinking across general practice.


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The British Journal of General Practice and BJGP Open are bringing research to clinical practice. BJGP Life is where we add the debate and opinion to help ensure everyone benefits from that research.

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