January 18, 2024

Ward 30 Information App

Admission to hospital for anaesthesia and surgery is an anxious time for children, young people,  parents and carers.

A large amount of information in various forms is shared, from the details of the operation, length of stay and recovery to what to bring to the hospital.

While verbal information and leaflets have an important role to play, it was felt that an app to collate information in one place would be hugely beneficial, particularly given the widespread and growing use of smartphones.

Featuring family-friendly images, videos, infographics and links to other online resources, the app content was collated and approved by a range of staff, including nurses, play specialists, anaesthetists and surgeons.  As well as being easily updated, the app allows users to share their feedback.

NHS Tayside Charitable Foundation was approached to support the cost of the app, with the foundation agreeing to fund the project to the value of £7,500.

Ashley Phillips, Senior Nurse Children and Young People Services, commented, “The information in the app helps alleviate some of the anxieties which naturally occur when an admission to hospital is planned.  This is a fantastic platform to share information with regard to the patient journey and pre and post-op care.”

NHS Tayside Charitable Foundation agreed to fund an information app from PIOTA, a company specialising in communication apps for healthcare.  This was introduced in early 2021 and included provision of a platform, development and support for three years.

Since January 2021, there have been 760 downloads.  The monthly number of active users has steadily increased, most recently to 73 patients, with 50% of patients installing and using the app. Feedback has also shown that the app is easy to use and has reduced worries around hospital visits.

Importantly, users rated their overall experience visiting the children's day case surgery unit as ‘excellent’.

The app allows staff to share and update information, accessible via a QR code.

Grant Rodney, Consultant Children's Anaesthetist, added, “The app supports the ongoing development of our pre-assessment service, which allows for health checks and a smooth admission process. It also allows patients to share information, alleviates their anxiety, and enhances the patient and staff experience.”

The Future

The app is now a key component of the pre-assessment service and ensures the provision of high-quality care, and further funding will be required for its ongoing use and development.

The Children’s Theatre suite walkabout:
All about anaesthesia:


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