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article imageNew messaging app could save health service millions annually

By Tim Sandle     Sep 16, 2019 in Health
A new messaging app, designed for use with the U.K.’s National Health service (NHS), could provide annual savings of around £44 million ($60 million) according to research. The app has been developed with input from British medics.
The app, called ‘Forward’, has been assessed by the Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network (AHSN). The research group undertook a detailed investigation into the potential of Forward.
The app comes ready for smartphones and other devices and it is designed to assist health workers exchange patient information. The app also comes with advice to help staff to make clinical decisions and also to assist with the management of their workload.
What’s interesting about the app is that it hasn’t simply been developed by a board of IT professionals, the app has had considerable input from junior doctors. Assessing the potential for digital technology in the health sphere, the medics sought out an alternative to the use of pagers and landlines for everyday tasks such as working on hospital wards. This led to the idea of the speciality app intended for use by clinical staff.
The messaging tool, while still relatively novel, is currently in place and the new research sought to assess just how effective the app is. The NHS approved app has already processed several million clinical messages to date.
In terms of application, the app enables health workers to rapidly and securely pass on vital information, and in areas of implementation it has replaced several outmoded ways of working and redundant technology such as pagers. Moreover, the app is more secure that freely available applications like WhatsApp (security is essential when handling confidential reports patient data).
The only downside with the app is the need for an effective and reliable WiFi signal, which is something that not all have, according to PharmaPhorum.
The new research found that the Forward app has saved one Hospital Trust just under £922,000 ($1 million) in annual savings. This figure could reach £44 million ($60 million), if applied across England.
Oher advantages include the avoid of fines and disciplinary action associated with data breaches and reducing pager numbers.
More about health service, National health service, messaging apps, Apps, Communication
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