Introducing a mobile app to support nursing care in Nordland Hospital (Nordlandssykehuset) has improved patient safety, experience, and efficiency alike. It also gives the hospital the feeling that they are well-prepared in case the COVID-19 situation worsens again. The app is provided to them together by Medanets and the EHR system supplier DIPS.
Nordland Hospital, located in the northern part of Norway, was planning the implementation of a mobile app for nursing already before the pandemic. However, taking the app into use was seen as a helpful measure to tackle COVID-19, and due to the threatening situation in March, they decided to speed up the process – actually, they took the application into use in record time. Now, the mobile solution has been used for about six months. Luckily, the COVID-19 situation has not been as bad as everyone feared, but Nordland Hospital still embraces the value and benefits the app brings to them.
On the video made by Nordland Hospital, nurse Anette Albriktsen compares the old and new processes and tells how the mobile app has improved her experience of providing care. The video is in Norwegian with English subtitles (the subtitles are shown on the screen with a slight delay). The article continues below the video.
EWS Feature Helps in Critical Situations
Based on the comments of the Nordland Hospital’s nurses, the key value of the mobile solution is that it enables a smoother and quicker workflow in all situations. It also makes it possible for doctors and other medical staff to immediately see the information documented on the mobile device in the EHR. In critical situations, the Early Warning Score (EWS) feature is seen as helpful.
The EWS function works very well to get an overview of the patient’s vitals, which in acute situations can be the difference between life and death, as well as significantly affect the choice of treatment.Nurse, medical ward at Nordland Hospital
“The EWS feature strongly improves our ability to get a comparable overview of the patient’s total somatic situation; we no longer have to gather information from different examinations. This helps us react faster and apply the necessary treatment quicker. The feature also provides advise for appropriate action within the patient’s score range, which is also very useful”, adds a Department Leader of a psychiatric ward at Nordland Hospital.
“We Can’t Imagine Stopping to Use the App”
According to Nina Nedregård Jensen, Department Manager in the Unit for Clinical ICT, Centre for Clinical Support and Documentation at Nordland Hospital, the change processes in the organisation have progressed well. Despite some small hiccups unavoidable in this kind of organisational change, it is clear that the mobile solution has come to stay. “We can’t imagine stopping to use the app. That would mean taking something really valuable away from the nurses, something that helps them so much”, says Jensen.
The numbers confirm the positive feedback, too. Nordlandssykehuset uses Medanets’ Admin UI, which shows that the number of documentations done with the app are constantly increasing. At the moment, daily documentations amount to about 400-500.
“The App Makes Us Better Prepared for COVID-19”
As regards the COVID-19 pandemic, Nordland Hospital has prepared for the worst. Luckily, in spring the situation was soon under control, and the worst-case scenarios did not come true. Still, they see the value of the app in situations like that. Among other things, the app can support infection control measures. “For instance, if we have a patient who is infected with COVID, with the help of the app it is easier to track who has been in contact with that patient. That helps to determine the next measures, like putting staff into quarantine”, says a nurse from a medical ward at Nordland Hospital.
Looking Forward to Further Improvements
People at Nordland Hospital want to remind that despite its useful features, the mobile app is just a tool among others. “It is not supposed to tell you what you are going to do, it is supposed to support you in what you do”, says Jensen. “You still need to think yourself, too, and you need training on how to make the most of the app. It’s also not a perfect system yet, although it’s very good. We are looking forward to the next updates and working further together with Medanets and DIPS to enable continuous improvement. We enjoy the fruitful cooperation.”
A nurse from a medical ward at Nordland Hospital thinks similarly: “A significant advantage of the app is that it can be used on a mobile platform, where it can be integrated with other features and functions. In short, it’s a user-friendly, convenient tool that unifies processes, a tool I am very happy with.”