Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust has been shortlisted for a national award thanks to an innovative app designed to help young patients and carers have a great experience while in hospital.
Independent body The Patient Experience Network (PEN) has recognised the app, developed by Paediatric Consultant Dr Hesham Abdalla, as part of the ‘Innovative Use of Technology/Social Media’ category; noting it to be significant in improving communication between staff and patients.
The Walsall Children’s Healthcare app was prompted by Dr Abdalla’s experience of shadowing a patient on the hospital’s Paediatric Assessment Unit and seeing the alarm on a mother’s face when her daughter’s oxygen levels started to dip.
Dr Abdalla explained: “It really brought home to me how confusing and scary a hospital can be for parents and children and how it would be so much better if they knew what to expect and the questions to ask if concerned. That’s how the idea came about for an app.”
The app, which is free to download from Google Play and Apple App store, includes helpful guidance such as frequently asked questions, video clips on what to expect with procedures such as MRI scans and even fun games to keep the patients entertained while on the ward.
And albeit designed primarily with patients in mind, the app also supports colleagues by offering easy access to policies and guidelines plus it shares teaching timetables that keep nurses and junior doctors up-to-date with training opportunities.
Patient Experience Manager Kuldeep Singh said: “The app started with a patient and continues to have patients at its heart. The creative combination of in-house resources, web tools and low start-up costs makes this app very unique.”
The PEN National Awards is the only awards programme to celebrate the delivery of outstanding patient experience in the UK and our professionals will be attending this year’s ceremony on Thursday 1 March 2018 at Birmingham’s Repertory Theatre.
Best of luck to Dr Abdalla and his team!