A Mobile App to drive improvements in the NHS
A specialist team within the North East NHS is using the latest mobile technology to help healthcare professionals cut waste and improve patient experience.
The North East Transformation System (NETS) has embraced management approaches from Japan’s automotive industry to create a new mobile iPad App – the first in the UK – to help drive continuous improvement in the region’s health service.
The NETS team, based at Gateshead’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, helps NHS organisations to improve healthcare. NETS promotes Lean-based methods – adapted from the automotive industry – within foundation trusts, commissioners and improvement networks to help achieve continuous quality improvement in the care they deliver.
First developed by industrial exemplars such as Toyota in Japan, ‘Lean thinking’ promotes a business philosophy called ‘Kaizen’ meaning ‘continuous improvement’ where processes are measured and analysed to identify and eliminate waste.
The app user observes a patient pathway and enters measurement data into their device. The mobile app then interprets this data and generates reports which can be shared instantly with other team members – reducing time and costs.
The new app is being used by the NETS Team and colleagues at their host organisation, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust. Feedback by users has been positive but it’s too early to report what improvements have been achieved.
Developed by Newcastle-based design company Infinite, the app took over a year from concept to realisation.
“We started from scratch, brainstorming, rapid prototyping and refining,“ said Iain Smith head of NETS. “Working closely with the team at Infinite our aim was to develop a powerful application that was easy to use. We believe we now have a product that is unlike any other on the market.
“We have demonstrated it at a national Lean Healthcare conference in Leeds as well as at Nissan, both receiving very positive feedback.“
Des Kennedy, managing director at Infinite, said: “Beta testing went well and we are now in discussion with the client on developing the app for other platforms and on how we can make it even better.“
The iPad app is available to professionals working with NETS with two commercial versions launched on the App Store. LeanMed for healthcare and LeanMan for manufacturing companies. Find our more at www.leanapp.info