QR Info Pods were created by Steffan Gimblett who is a Practice Manager at Pontardawe Primary Care Centre.

I wanted to create a way of quickly engaging with our patients digitally through smartphones while at the same time saving money on our print costs.

I began to notice that QR codes were becoming ever more prevalent in our daily lives as they are being widely used by major advertising companies and social media as a means of improving communication between them and their customers while at the same time saving money on print costs.

I began researching how QR codes worked and discovered their amazing potential, the variety of what could be linked to them, the wealth of information which can be communicated and how they can be applied in any sector.

I have been a Manager in the NHS for 15 years now and know only too well that communication with our patients is paramount. I was also acutely aware that although posters and leaflets have a place, they are very costly to produce, are hardly environmentally friendly and I didn’t believe we used digital communication methods effectively enough.

61% of online traffic comes from mobile devises, and I regularly observe our patients with their faces firmly planted looking at their phones while waiting to see our clinicians.

So, I came up with the idea of getting rid of our cluttered poster laden information board in reception, and replacing it with some kind of digital communication interface where we could harness the technology of smartphones. And so QR Info Pods were born.

As a practice, we simply decided what information we wanted to communicate to our patients and converted that information into dynamic QR codes. We worked closely with our chosen design and print company to produce a simple but distinctive design for the QR Info Pod. Through a number of prototypes and an extensive testing period, I am now satisfied  that the product I have produced meets my initial criteria of creating a seamless experience for the user.

The QR Info Pods have received fantastic feedback and we were recently recognised with an innovation award by The Royal College of General Practitioners. We are also working with Childline, The NSPCC, Barnardos and the Police to produce a QR Pod aimed at young people to educate them on sensitive topics, topics they may not want to ask someone about but topics they can scan with the privacy of their smart phones and chat directly though their smartphones with specialist advisors. The QR Info Pods have high scan rates averaging 66 scans per month per QR code, tracked by the analytic software we applied in the process of producing the codes.

I am proud of the product I have produced and I’m proud that this new technology has helped to engage our public with the services that we, and other health organisation have to offer, bringing us closer together than ever before.