Streamlining meeting bookings, achieving optimal use of space and generating economies
Meeting space was at a premium at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust (RCHT) with many original conference rooms repurposed to provide office space for the ever-increasing workforce.
The Knowledge Spa, built as a training facility for medical and nursing students from the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, was increasingly being used by RCHT for staff meetings and training putting additional pressure on the resource.
The initial action was to review the facilities and how they were being used. It was discovered that the booking system in use was out of date and inflexible. This resulted in meeting rooms standing empty while meetings were being booked off site at a fee to the Trust.
A review of computerised booking systems identified one that was customisable and could work for booking both meeting rooms and clinic rooms (this flexibility was an important feature). This system also lent itself to bulk data importing – essential to input the academic timetabling required by the Universities each year.
Guidelines on its use were issued to all staff.
The new system gave all members of staff of both the Trust and Universities access to the booking diary to request meeting space, releasing Knowledge Spa staff from having to check availability and input all details for bookings. This increased the latter’s productivity and job satisfaction.
By giving all members of staff access to the ‘diary,’ anyone could check availability which in turn reduced their frustration and increased productivity.
Room occupancy increased enabling more meetings to stay on site, reducing expenditure on external meeting facilities.
The success of this project within the Knowledge Spa saw it rolled out (in modified form) to facilitate short-term overnight accommodation used by on-call and agency staff.