12 November 2018

Staff improvement ideas get a boost with new app

Three healthcare organisations in our partnership have successfully piloted ImproveWell, a smartphone app that encourages and enables healthcare staff on the frontline to make improvement suggestions for their workplace.

Barts Health NHS Trust, Castle Point, Rochford & Southend CCGs and North East London NHS Foundation (NELFT) all participated in the pilot of the app.

The ImproveWell app, which was amongst the first cohort of digital technologies supported by the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, enables frontline healthcare staff to submit improvement ideas to their leadership teams who in turn comment, feedback and ultimately support change and champion ideas to facilitate improvements that make a real difference to patient care and staff experience.

All three organisations that took part in the pilot found ImproveWell to be an extremely useful tool, generating a range of ideas to improve training, management, care pathways and data sharing.

Standout improvement projects undertaken within the 12-week pilot as a result of using the app included:

  • Training nurses to take electrocardiogram (ECG) tests to free up doctors’ time (NELFT)
  • Using a web-based portal to improve staff accessibility to the most up to date version of paediatric care pathway guidelines, improving compliance (Southend CCG)
  • Installing air conditioning and improving ward ventilation to reduce instances of Acute Kidney Injury caused by heat (Barts Health NHS Trust)

Debbie Johnson, a pilot participant from Southend CCG said: “The communication between our CCG and the GP practice was already good, especially with primary care managers, but the mobile app has enabled us to be more proactive about informing the CCG of ideas for improvements.  It allows the CCG time to consider, plan and act on ideas for possible future processes.  It also enables our GP practice to follow the progress of the idea at all stages until implementation. A particular highlight for me was having the opportunity to meet with the CCG for a day, to show them how a large GP practice operates and to give an insight into the day-to-day challenges we face. This resulted in positive improvement ideas being successfully put in place.”

Kate Hall, Chief Operating Officer at UCLPartners said: “The results from this pilot have been really positive. We know that staff working on the frontline have lots of great ideas to improve patient care and to help their organisations be even more effective, but they sometimes struggle to get these ideas heard and operationalised, often because they don’t know who to approach. ImproveWell gives all staff the ability to share their improvement suggestions directly with their senior management teams. The two-way communication built into the app means that staff can track the progress of their suggestion and senior management teams are able to feedback and pick up ideas to give them the backing they need to be implemented and built into practice. We saw some fantastic examples of this in the three organisations and additionally a boost to morale in some staff groups.”

As a result of the successful pilot scheme, all three organisations have been awarded a fully-funded one-year licence with ImproveWell to continue supporting staff engagement with quality improvement.

If you would like to find out more about ImproveWell or submit an expression of interest for the 2019 pilot scheme please contact emma.mordaunt@uclpartners.com.