Ideas for a new health app

Mobile app for patient observations - safety and health benefits

This app is intended for use on inpatient psychiatric units where patients are ambulatory but their movements and whereabouts on the ward - and type of behaviour/activities engaged in - needs to be monitored (this is currently done on paper with all of the associated issues of that). The app is meant purely to monitor behaviour and whereabouts not mental/emotional state.


As a mobile app this software would be loadable on a handheld device that the Nurse completing would carry on the ward (tablet or touch screen 'phone or similar). The app would work by connecting to the organisations PAS or Clinical System and accessing the ward list to create the main data entry view – the list of patient names against which observations will be made. The data will be fed back wirelessly to the main clinical/PAS system.


The main benefits of such an app are:


1. Better recording of known place observations

2. Improved reporting functions of patients whereabouts including leave information

3. Clinically useful data that can inform treatment plans


Various other benefits can be realised, including real time tracking of patients wherabouts and behaviour for the Nurse in charge via a monitor in the Nursing Station. It will also enhance ‘real time’ updating of records when patients leave the ward either going AWOL or for agreed periods of leave as per care plan as well as return times and will enhance patient administration as the ward list will be updated more frequently to keep pace with real admissions and discharges.


The app will also reduce the time taken filling out different forms and the likelihood of errors arising from staff forgetting to report patients on enhanced observations would reduce as all information is on a single chart. This would reduce duplication of information – which carries with it an inherent clinical risk.


Sleep patterns are a major indicator of mental health and potential relapse. Weekly analysis of patients sleep from the observation charts will enable the team to see at a glance, patients with disturbed sleep patterns or other behaviour so that care can be planned accordingly.


Other benefits include but are not limited to:


• Enhanced engagement in day time activities

• Improved quality / quantity of sleep and improved mental health and well being

• Potential reduction in length of stay

• Will help staff to recognise behaviour patterns and to identify and implement interventions more quickly and effectively

• Improved engagement with patients



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Idea No. 411