Has your Hospital replaced error prone paper based Observation Systems with mHealth Apps?



we collected the records and started to look through them and to our absolute horror the whole twenty four hours of Joshua’s care, that period of time after his birth and before he collapsed, there were no records of his temperatures, his observations, of the concerns that my wife had raised, and we said look the records are missing we’re really anxious to know that the staff have reported the same events as my wife and I, we don’t want this to be covered up… …and I found it shocking. In my work in the Nuclear Industry I’m used to any example of what’s gone wrong incident being thoroughly investigated and I’ve seen more comprehensive reports about rusty material, rusty bolts, than the process I’d been through relating to the preventable death of a (my) child

Joshua’s Story shares the harm caused when we fail to document healthcare and don’t provide frontline healthcare workers with the modern decision support tools that they need to efficiently do their work, receive timely notification of the deteriorating health of Patients and ensure they are capable of learning from mistakes they make so that the reasons can be understood and they’re never repeated.

The Learning Clinic’s VitaPac is my favourite example of a mHealth company that is doing great things in this area (eg. their VitalPAC app is today helping more than 15,000 NHS nurses record more 10 million sets of Patient Observations per year) and it surprises me that Patient Care Quality Campaign and Pressure Groups aren’t doing more to champion the Hospitals that are adopting such modern systems:

How VitalPac Works

If you attend a Hospital that’s still not adequately supporting their staff to properly do the job and still relying on error prone paper charts please feel encouraged to share this URL TheLearningClinic.co.uk with the CEO along with your thoughts about why it would improve your confidence in the quality of the care that they’re providing.

Note: I would’ve liked to have embedded the above video but for some reason the PatientStories website has T&C’s from the 1990’s regarding the use of their content eg. the videos can’t be played at full screen, embedded/shared and must not be used within formal education (whatever that means).

Update 21 October: Thanks to Murray Anderson-Wallace, Executive Producer, Patient Stories I’ve been able to replace the image above with an embed of the video (see comments).

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4 Responses to Has your Hospital replaced error prone paper based Observation Systems with mHealth Apps?

  1. Thanks for picking up this angle of “Joshua’s Story” – It’s a really valid point. The reliance on written records and memory for such importance vital signs monitoring (and escalation) is archaic, especially when several excellent systems (Patient Track is the one I know best) exist.

    As Exec Producer of the http://www.patientstories.org.uk site I also wanted to respond to your comments about our t&c’s. All our films are independently funded, which means licensing revenues for use by educational institutions and organisations are the only direct source to research & produce the films, and run the website.

    Anyone can watch the films on-line at no cost and for a relatively small payment, they can be licensed for work in small groups or for use if “formal” educational / learning programmes.

    Unfortunately, we have found is that a number of (multi-million pound) healthcare organisations and commercial training companies decide that copyright law doesn’t apply to them and they go ahead anyway.

    Personally, I’d prefer it if we could make all this work freely available on-line (without all the work we have to put into licensing etc) – If you have an alternative business model, then I’d be delighted to hear it.

    Also, there is nothing to stop you emailing me directly and I’d happily have provided you with some embed code. In fact, I still will 🙂

    Murray Anderson-Wallace

  2. I get frustrated that large institutions who should be supporting this work can’t even get together a small sum to improve the quality of what they provide

    Jonathan Marks is a great inspiration to me and sharing the arguments he has made for storytelling can be incredibly effective when you are trying to help such large institutions reach their goals in a world where the barrier to entry is so low that every company can be a media company eg. audiences only remember the message from great storytellers, building a powerful narrative is an essential strategy for any team who wants to change the world.

    The ASPiH event looks very interesting. Check out some of the articles I’ve posted on the use of mHealth tools at Medical Schools like Stanford & their Venture Lab, UCIrvine, Leeds and the Welsh Deanary and don’t hesitate to let me know if you’d like an introduction to my friend Robert Cairnduff, COO at 3D4Medical – a company that is behind most of the key rich multimedia content used at the world’s best medical schools.

    PS I’m very easy to reach via a comment on this blog (just mark it “PRIVATE” if you don’t want it published) or email (mail AT 3gdoctor DOT com).

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