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WWL NHS Foundation Trust to start using mobile working technology

Charlotte Jee Published 27 February 2013

Expects to use iPad minis to collect data for CQUIN targets while developing 'paperless' project


Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) is planning to trial mobile working technology on iPad minis before rolling it out to all 30 wards across the trust.

The devices will be used to collect the data for the Department of Health's Commissioning for Quality and Innovation Payment Framework (CQUIN).

CQUIN, introduced in 2009, links a proportion of English healthcare providers' income to the achievement of local quality improvement goals.

WWL is due to develop approximately 30 apps, with the first three in advanced stages of development. The apps are being developed using technology developed by specialist software provider NDL.

The first app to be released for a pilot, due in mid-March 2013, is the Patient Safety Thermometer (PST), which measures a range of common afflictions patients may experience while in care such as pressure ulcers, falls, and urinary tract infections in patients with catheters.

WWL's project manager, Jamie King, explained, "The ones we're trialling on at the moment are Android, using Samsung Galaxy Tabs, but we're in the process of going through our Apple enterprise development license.

"Purchasing from Apple involves jumping through quite a lot of hoops. NDL are going to let us trial their latest version, which we can develop with Apple. We're going to trial on iPad minis as we've found them a bit easier to manage. Our IT team say they'd prefer to use Apple so if it proves okay that's what we'll go with."

In a separate but related project called 'paper-lite', the Trust is working towards becoming completely paperless. King said that the trust expects to meet a recent call by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt for the NHS to go paperless by 2018. He said, "It's something we've been hoping to get to anyway, and we were working on it before the announcement was made. I think we're a bit ahead of other trusts. We always strived to become a paperless trust."

Combined, CQUIN targets are worth £5.2m to WWL every year. According to King, this figure is calculated by "Withholding 2.5% of the contracting value of your trust. It's down to you to prove that you can earn the rest. Out of the ones we're targeting, PST is worth roughly about £250,000 a year.

"VTE [venous thromboembolism] assessment is worth £500,000 a year. For that, we need to prove that we are assessing how much they use of the drug that prevents it and how much they need. This has to be done on admission and every 24 hours after that, and we need to prove we're doing it to 90-95% of all patients."

King explained that the trust is currently hitting most of the targets, but the process is paper-based and time-consuming. He said, "We are hitting these targets already, but it's a massive paper trawl to collate the data, and these apps will free up a lot of time. The PST is done by ward monitors every month. They have to set aside an entire day once a month as audit day. But in the trials that we've done, we've managed to do an entire ward within half an hour. They can't wait to start using it."

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