Bleepers is an app that is designed to help doctors and nurses assign and execute tasks intuitively, while supporting the following clinical governance components:
Risk management (understanding factors that influence events)
Staffing and staff management
Pagers are outdated and tasks are easily lost. There is no data collection or ability to audit bleeps. There is more secure technology in the pockets of NHS doctors and nurses already. Junior doctors repurpose WhatsApp to solve the issue, but this has security implications.
In a nutshell, Bleepers brings the following enhancements to current workflows that use messaging apps and pagers:
Centralised task data and analytics
Record keeping with audit trail and consistent data on every task
Intuitive and organised task handling with the ability to prioritise tasks manually
We had the opportunity to take part in the Hackathon organised by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust on 19 March. We worked with great people (doctors, nurses, data scientists, clinicians and developers) and produced a rapid prototype that tackles an issue faced by the hospital: secure and effective task management. We were the runners up to the first prize.
We created a concept for a task management app that has real potential. Together with Dr Dominique Wakefield, we at 2xUX decided to put some more time into it and inspire the hospital to take it further.
How Bleepers helps Doctors and nurses
Providing real value to users to help them integrate the app into their workflow is the first big challenge of the app. User experience is a key component to success.
During the Hackathon we interviewed senior and junior doctors, nurses and NHS staff. Below are some of the interesting challenges they mentioned, along with our solutions.
“Junior doctors are reluctant to use their own devices for work (but are using Whatsapp for communication and tasks)”
Bleepers provides a profile view for seeing your stats and work journey, helping you better understand your work and activity patterns. Bleeps stay on the home screen and send push notifications so you can’t neglect them.
“Pager technology is outdated. We are losing bleeps, can’t prioritise and it’s inconvenient”
Bleepers allows junior doctors who get a lot of bleeps to manually prioritise them, drop them and even report them.
“Could you take over another person’s task?”
You can hand over a task to a colleague but also grab an unclaimed task from a nearby team/location.
“How far are you from the task? No need to bleep someone if they cannot get there on time”
Every bleep is geotagged (and phones now have the capacity to identify elevation). Therefore the app only bleeps nearby staff.
“You shouldn’t bleep someone at 2am to prescribe paracetamol, but they do.”
With Bleepers, users can now report a bleep helping the NHS understand patterns of misuse and allocate resources efficiently.
How Bleepers helps the NHS
There are two major benefits for NHS teams using the app.
Data analytics to identify trends and improve service
Using a secure database in the cloud, we can serve the data in a desktop interface in a way that is simple to understand and export for other teams to analyse.
The IT Analytics team can collate and pull the data that could then be used for clinical governance tasks like auditing, significant event analysis, effective staff management and more. The results would then be sent to the relevant stakeholders.
For example, the Physiotherapy department could request data from cardiac specialist nurses and cardiology doctors in order to audit their activity. A service manager could also collect all the task data on blood taking and cannulations to make a business case to employ more phlebotomists.
Record keeping inline with clinical governance principles
“Currently, we have no data for bleeps and tasks…”
In Bleepers, tasks can be preset by the department to ensure consistent input of data. Each task has an audit trail where every interaction is recorded, timestamped, geotagged and accredited to a member of staff. Status updates such as sent, pending, acknowledged and in progress allow users to track the progression of each task.
Speak to doctors and nurses in different departments to learn about their goals, capabilities, motivations and pain points to empathise with them. This will allow us to identify the typical user groups (personas). By speaking with the users of the system we will be able to gain a better understanding of the tasks they encounter and how Bleepers could help them organise and complete tasks more effectively.
Get a small group of users to conduct a usability test and check whether the features of the app help staff better organise and complete daily tasks to their satisfaction. By watching users complete tasks, problems are naturally identified – from language and features to layout and flow. A usability test would allow us to:
Measure the time it takes to perform tasks
Identify unexpected user actions
Assess how easy it is to learn
Find out how easy it is to use features
Monitor for system bugs or failures
Identify unforeseen scenarios
Observe the app in its real-world context