A north London hospital is piloting a new app in its emergency department that allows patients to hail a porter on their mobile phone.
Northwick Park Hospital, which is part of London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, is introducing Infinity Health’s e-portering app to replace the existing practice of staff filling out a two-page request form.
It is hoped this new system will cut down the time it takes staff to follow up porter requests.
Porters will have instant and up-to-date information about the patient they are assigned to collect, with staff also able to see in real time when a patient has been collected and arrives at their destination.
Those working in the hospital’s A&E department can access Infinity Health’s on their smartphone, or at iPad stations located across the department.
Lead consultant for emergency medicine at the trust, Miriam Harris, said: “This is a positive step towards helping us manage patient flow. The hospital is very busy and demand on portering services is always high.
“The app will help reduce the amount of time taken to request a porter or the need to chase requests up. It also allows us to add special instructions for the porter, such as the need to carry patient records, oxygen, or support equipment.
The pilot started on 29 October and will run for a month. More than 400 clinical and non-clinical staff will be involved in the pilot, including more than 60 porters.
If it proves successful, it is hoped the app will be rolled out across Ealing and Central Middlesex hospitals, which are also part of London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust.
Trust CIO, Sonia Patel, added: “The collaboration with Infinity Health demonstrates how working with the right partners and technology helps resolve every day issues and genuinely improves the daily working lives of our staff and ultimately improve patient care.”
As well as embracing new technologies, Northwick Park recently remembered old ones.
As part of the NHS’ 70th birthday this year, the hospital uncovered a rather unusual former employee.
Jeeves the Robot, who even had his own ID card, was responsible for carrying blood samples and medical notes around the hospital in the mid-1990s.
Sadly, Jeeves did not pass his six-month probation period.