A new “preoperative testchecker” app being piloted at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital (RBH) will revolutionise the care of patients being prepared for surgery.
Preoperative tests are part of the process of ensuring a patient is adequately prepared for surgery, and include blood tests and ECGs.
Current NICE guidelines for the tests are complex and it can sometimes be unclear which tests are appropriate. However an app designed by RBH anaesthetic registrar Dr Matthew Taylor allows nurses to assess patients waiting for surgery in four easy steps using an iPad or iPod.
The main aim of the app is to ensure each patient only receives the most appropriate tests, while nurses can easily access the relevant information electronically, freeing up more time to spend with patients.
Dr Taylor said: “Work undertaken over the last two years across eight hospitals in the south of England has shown that streamlining assessment could reduce the number of blood tests taken prior to surgery by a third.”
Sally Papworth, clinical leader for preassessment at RBH added: “The new app is fantastic, so user friendly. The new app is much easier to use than the previous guidelines.”
The development of the app was funded by Health Education Wessex. Following the successful pilot at RBH, it is hoped it can be rolled out to NHS hospitals across the country.
The app is available for free download on devices that run iOS (Apple) and Android operating systems. In the next few months it will also be available on PCs as a website.