NHS Health Call has launched a new wound care app which is transforming how district nurses provide care in County Durham and Darlington.
The app was initially designed for care home staff to share images of wounds with community nursing teams. The app has since been modified so the district nursing teams working for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust can share images with other clinical staff involved in the patient’s care. This means it can be applied to different clinical situations – covering the breadth of district nursing caseloads.
Around 40 per cent of district nurse caseloads is made up of wound management. Prior to using the Health Call Wound Care app there was no function to securely take photographs and upload them in to SystmOne.
The new app mimics the existing wound assessment questions, but also gives nurses the ability to upload up to four images. The photos are taken in app and therefore not stored on the device, keeping the data safe. All data entered is uploaded into the clinical record which means it’s accessible to appropriate clinicians directly involved in their care.
Sandra Smyth, a district nurse lead who played a key role in the development of the app, said: “When a district nurse goes to see a patient, the image of a wound can be uploaded there and then into SystmOne. We can have a senior clinician review whilst the nurse is with the patient and provide advice on the course of treatment. This is of particular benefit because of our rural location. We can effectively offer a telemedicine service and can avoid the need for repeated visits from different specialists.”
Sandra said: “Trying to describe a wound in writing is incredibly challenging, in this case a picture really is worth a thousand words. By looking at the image, everyone involved in a patient’s care knows exactly what we are dealing with. When we can share the image – it makes all the difference.”
Andrew Izon, chief information officer at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust and a director of Health Call, said: “We have developed a simple solution in partnership between the trust and Health Call that’s made a significant difference to how nursing teams deliver care. Particularly as much of the county is rural, it means that its easier for clinical teams to make assessments of the patients and reduce the number of visits they make, but also it helps the patient as they don’t have to travel around seeing different specialists.”