NHSquicker App

 

NHSquicker

Informing ED/MIU Attendance Choices through ‘Digital Nudges’

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The NHSquicker App will allow patients needing treatment for urgent conditions at hospital emergency departments (EDs) and minor injury units (MIUs) to use their mobile phones to check live waiting times. The app provides ‘digital nudges’, or indirect suggestions, to inform patients of the urgent care services (ED/MIUs) that are located in close proximity. The mechanism for delivering the ‘nudge’ is the ordered listing of services, in ascending order, based on waiting time plus travel time. Thus, an ED/MIU that is geographically closer to the patient may be superseded in the listing by a facility which is further away but with a lower waiting time. NHSquicker also provides access to the Directly of Services (DOS) for Devon and Cornwall. The app is designed at the STP-level (rather than individual Trusts). The underlying architecture makes it possible for STPs and Trusts in England to join the IMPACT Network initiative with no costs to them.

Purpose of the App

  • Provides information about where to go if needing urgent care from where you are.
  • Integrates real-time waiting data from EDs/MIUs/Urgent Care Services, alongside travel times so you can decide where is the best place to go (i.e. fastest? best facilities? closest?).
  • Incorporates Directory of Services (DOS) information: alternative locations for help/ support e.g. pharmacies, opticians, dentists, GP surgeries (DOS connectivity provided through an external organisation).

App Architecture

  • Designed to work at STP level.
  • Developed for iOS (Apple) and Android platforms
  • App accessible through the web (although GPS functionality will be limited; location access permission will be needed)
  • Data feed from new Trusts could be easily added as long as it adheres to the underlying data format (co-designed with the Trusts).
  • Uses web-services architecture. Data will need to be sent from the Trusts in JSON format.
  • The frequency of sending data can be managed at the Trust-level (recommended: 15 minutes)

Current Partners

  • Health and Care IMPACT Network – The network started as a collaboration between University of Exeter Business School and Torbay & South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, and has since expanded to include:
    • Torbay Medical Research Fund
    • Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
    • Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust
    • Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
    • Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
    • South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
    • Claremont Medical Practice
  • MiDoS (providing DOS access)
  • Reactor 15 (app developer)

Screenshots from the App

Opening Screen, Tile Arrangement and Directory of Services

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live waiting data from EDs/MIUs/Urgent Care Services (with map view)

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Funding/Costs

  • Free to the NHS. Currently funded by University of Exeter Open Innovation Funds, with match funding from Torbay Medical Research Funds.
  • For the NHS Directory of Services, we are using a third-party provider (MiDoS) for information on local healthcare services. The functionality of this element is determined by licensing arrangements with individual Trusts (in some areas this functionality may not be available).

Future work

  • Field study on the effective of digital nudges.
  • Making available predicted waiting time (using historical data from HSCIC/NHS Digital).

For further information please contact

  • Lead Researcher and Overall Coordinator- Nav Mustafee (Exeter University)  |  Email:  health.impact.network@gmail.com
  • Communications – Jessica Newton
  • Trust Leads – Susan Martin (TSDFT), Nic Harrison (NDHT), Alaric Moore (RD&E), Paul Brandwood (RCHT), Nick Metcalfe (SWAST)