Musgrove Park Hospital has agreed plans for a new patient-focussed mobile app, as part of its work to break new ground in the NHS’s use of digital technology.
The hospital will be working with the British DeepMind Health to implement and develop the Streams clinical app that will further improve patient safety. This will be available at the bedside to alert doctors and nurses to any patients needing immediate assessment, and help them rapidly determine whether the patient has other serious conditions such as acute kidney injury.
The Streams app will also allow clinical staff to see all relevant information, such as results of x-rays, scans or blood tests, in one place at the touch of a button.
Musgrove Park was named last year as a global digital exemplar for the NHS, and won £10 million in Government funding to enable it to make rapid progress in transforming its use of digital technology.
With its long-term partner in the digital exemplar programme, IMS MAXIMS, the hospital is pressing ahead with similar work to bring technology to the bedside. Digitising information means it is available to all healthcare professionals wherever and whenever they need to access it, making patient care safer and more effective.
Dr Luke Gompels, consultant in medicine, said: “This is all about early detection of seriously unwell patients so that we can immediately escalate care, ensure a very rapid response, and make sure they are treated quickly by the right specialist doctor. In this way we can make more of a difference, more quickly.”
Of Musgrove’s plans for mobile working, Mrs Netty Messenger, a patient and volunteer at the hospital, said: “This is a great idea. I do banking and shopping online and get my prescriptions online, but hospitals still seem to have mountains of paper. It would be much better to have all the patient’s information in one place in apps like this.”
“If doctors are able to pay more attention to their patients instead of having to chase up test results, that has got to be a very good thing.”
Mr Tom Edwards, consultant surgeon, said: “Fast access to information about patients is absolutely crucial for our doctors, nurses, and other clinical staff. “Safety alerts will be immensely useful, but it is important to remember that – whatever technology we use – it will still be our highly trained and expert staff who are making decisions about diagnosis, treatment and patient care.”
Over the days and weeks to come Musgrove Park Hospital will be holding workshops, displays and open day events with our staff and the public, so that all can see how the app works, what it will mean for patients, and how it might be developed in future. The first is on 17 July, with information displayed in the public Concourse.
The new Streams app uses tried and tested NHS guidance (algorithms) to process patient information in order to raise safety alerts. It will not use any information that is not already available to hospital staff. Patient data remains at all times under the control of Musgrove Park Hospital.
In its successful bid to be a global digital exemplar for the NHS, Musgrove set out plans for a digital transformation that will in future see patients able to take joint control of their notes, and record their own wishes and goals. The hospital was the first in the country to adopt IMS MAXIMS open source software for electronic patient records, at far less cost than other systems used in the NHS. With MAXIMS, it has since been able to share its learning with other NHS organisations at no charge.