The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has developed a Hillingdon Care Record mobile app for phones and tablets that is live with nearly 100 users.

Systems development and integration manager Matthew Kybert told Digital Health News the app is primarily used on iPad minis, which have been distributed to staff as part of the project, and the trust recently deployed a desktop version.

Version one went live in May 2015 and new releases are timed for every six weeks. The trust is now on its sixth version.

Version one rolled-out 20 pilot users and included patient administration system activity from the trust's Silverlink patient administration system, such as patient encounters and demographic information, as well as some clinical documents. This was based on feedback from clinicians who primarily wanted to be able to view documents quickly and electronically.

The app was enriched a couple of months later with clinical records from ophthalmology, cardiology, maternity and discharge summaries.

In August 2015, the team added a link to the order communications system allowing users to view radiology and pathology results. Kybert said they are looking to include the ability to request tests via the app as well.

In January, the app started displayed  flags for end of life care plans held in the Coordinate my Care system; the London care plan sharing system built on InterSystems' HealthShare.

It also went live with the ability to request and view a GP record. A summary of GP information is presented using Healthcare Gateway’s Medical Interoperability Gateway and the trust worked closely with its clinical commissioning group to agree the data sharing terms with all 49 practices, which all use Emis Web as their clincial system.

In March this year, the trust released a desktop version and began live roll-out of the app. Kybert said there are now 97 users on the system and 60 devices in the mobile estate.

A fifth are using the barcode scanner on the iOS device to locate the patient record they are looking for, while nearly half access records via their patient lists.

Devices are currently for specific staff, but the trust is looking at introducing shared devices as well as a ‘bring your own device’ scheme towards the end of the year.

Kybert said staff in ambulatory care have found it most useful, but it is being used across the hospital, including in the clinical coding team.

“The coding team used to have to log into every different system, now they can see everything in one application,” he said.

The trust has partnered with CommonTime, using its Rapid Mobile Application Development platform, mDesign, to develop the application.

The cost of the Hillingdon Care Record project is around £630,000 over 5 years which includes, development platform and licensing, training, infrastructure, mobile devices and developer resources.

Kybert said the trust needed to do something to give staff better access to real-time information digitally, but financial challenges meant it could not invest in a big electronic patient record or clinical viewer technology.

“So we needed a different way to achieve the same result and because we had a successful integration engine programme in-house we built on that expertise,” he said.

The in-house team is small, just three people with plans to expand to four, “but we felt an inhouse development was the most cost effective way to get where we needed to be," Kybert added.