App saves South Western Ambulance Service £35k a year

Exmaple of the drugs guidance for paramedics Image copyright SWAST
Image caption The app contains data about drugs dosages and diagnosis check lists to help support paramedics on call outs

A new South Western Ambulance app is helping staff to increase the quality of patient care, the service says.

The app, called Jrcalc, cost £100,000 and contains guidelines on drugs dosage and traffic light diagnosis checklists.

Clinical director, Adrian South, said: "It's the same system as a pilot - you don't take off without a checklist and making sure everything is done perfectly."

As the guidelines are paperless it saves £35,000 per year on printing.

Previously paramedics had to rely on a "nine cm thick" A4 reference folder, Mr South said.

"You had to know where you're looking and if you wanted to do an update that would be expensive and time-consuming because you had to get 3,500 copies out to everyone," he added.

'Raise awareness'

Updates would be done in batches to reduce cost, which had slowed down the distribution of updates.

Since its launch in June, the service has been able to add in updates more regularly - as well as any learning from cases.

In one case, the service received a complaint about the treatment it gave to a patient who presented with a rare bowel problem, about which it said there was no guidance.

"We received some learning on that case and to raise awareness we implemented some additional guidance within a month to flag it to staff," Mr South said.

In the summer the service plans to launch an app to allow off-duty medics to be alerted if someone nearby has a cardiac arrest.

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