Igal Raizman, MD, MSc, Sunil Patel, MD, MSc, Sulaiman Nanji, MD, PhD, FRCSC. Queen’s University
Introduction: Patient outcomes following surgery are thought to correlate with three distinct aspects of surgical care: intraoperative management, team functionality, and postoperative ward care. Of these, postoperative ward care, which is heavily reliant on timely and effective team communication, is being increasingly recognized as a key element. Evidence suggests that more than half of all adverse events encountered by patients take place outside of the operating theatre. Observational studies report that as many as 4.5 process failures (defined as events in which an aspect of medical care was either omitted or performed incorrectly) per patient occur in routine postoperative care, and of these, more than half are attributed to either communication failures or delays. At the same time, smartphones and smartphone-based applications are being increasingly used in the clinical setting. Recent publications suggest that the development of local, hospital-specific applications has the potential to save time and increase compliance with local guidelines. This study aims to investigate the utility and effectiveness of a locally developed smartphone-based application for improving team functioning and communication, and its effect on patient-care in the post-operative course.
Methods/ Preliminary Results: After approval by the hospital’s Ethics Board, Information Technology, and Privacy department, a mixed methods data capture survey was used to evaluate smartphone usage pattern and daily ward-management tools amongst surgical residents and staff in the Kingston General Hospital (Kingston, Ontario, Canada). 46 individuals took part in the initial study, with 75% of respondents indicating daily utilization of smartphones in their clinical practice. Of the participants, 100% of residents and 86% of attending staff expressed interest in a specialized smart-phone based application to replace the currently used paper-based patient-lists, assist with house staff communication, and improve the efficiency of patient care. Based on participant feedback, specific features were implemented including the ability for real time communication between all team members.
Conclusions/Future Directions: Results suggest that there is a significant interest in the utilization of smartphone application by house staff to aid and improve the efficiency of patient care. The newly developed application is currently being rolled out and information regarding its effectiveness is being gathered. Subsequent to this, the application will be used in clinical practice and its utility will be further investigated.
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Presented at the SAGES 2017 Annual Meeting in Houston, TX.
Abstract ID: 91113
Program Number: ETP847
Presentation Session: Emerging Technology iPoster Session (Non CME)
Presentation Type: Poster