UX can support Clinical Governance
Bleepers, a pager app for digital health
Bleepers is a digital health 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 legacy technology and tasks are easily lost. There is no data collection or ability to audit bleeps. Smartphones are in the pockets of NHS doctors and nurses already. Junior doctors repurpose WhatsApp to solve the issue, but this has security implications. NHS uses 10% of worlds pagers at annual cost of £6.6m
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
UX Design Process
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 doctors, nurses, data scientists, clinicians and developers and produced a rapid prototype that tackles an issue faced by the hospital: effective task management and pager replacement using smartphones. We were the runners up to the first prize.
With the assistance of Dr Dominique Wakefield, we decided to take this exercise further and inspire the hospital to implement it.
To understand and prioritise the most critical problems of the NHS staff we interviewed them. We gathered a series of issues on security, efficiency and patient safety.
“Pager technology is outdated. We are losing bleeps, can’t prioritise and it’s inconvenient” a senior nurse told us.
“Could you take over another person’s task?”
“How far are you from the task? No need to bleep someone if they cannot get there on time”
“You shouldn’t bleep someone at 2am to prescribe paracetamol, but they do.”
With Bleepers, users could report a bleep helping the NHS understand patterns of misuse and allocate resources efficiently.
Digital health impact for the NHS
There are two major benefits for NHS teams using the digital health approach.
Data analytics to identify trends and improve digital health 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 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.
2. Record keeping inline with clinical governance principles
“Currently, we have no data for bleeps and tasks…” say doctors and NHS IT.
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.