An evaluation of Allied Health Professionals’ use of iPads for a variety of clinical specialties within NHS Fife. Sarah Mitchell-Thain – Occupational Therapist
Adapted from the NHS Fife poster which recently won first prize in the British Computer Society poster presentation. Ref: Leech, A., Braid, M. and Chung, C
A number of AHP’s working in the community have been allocated an iPad to use in clinical practice as a result of a successful bid to the Scottish Governments funding for ‘mobile devices in community health services’. The NHS Fife AHP eHealth Delivery Group which involves both eHealth and AHP services coordinated the Mobile Device Project.
iPads were allocated to Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Podiatrists, Pharmacists, and Dieticians across specialties including child health, chronic pain, learning disabilities, mental health, stroke rehabilitation and rheumatology.
Using the kit …
The iPad roll out started small with trials in 2 services using a couple of the allocated devices. However it quickly grew as the conversations and understanding provoked an appetite for trials in other AHP services. Widening the trial enabled a fuller and richer evaluation of the value in a range of specialities. A combination of 3G and WiFi only devices were used.
iPad confidence and knowledge varied greatly amongst staff and sparked many enlightening and educational conversations both with each other and service users who on the whole we have found to be the ‘expert users’.
Various informal and formal forums were utilised for AHP’s to share the knowledge and experience of using the iPads in clinical practice for example; department demo’s, meetings, video conferencing, supervision, reflective practice, SWOT analysis etc……
Clinicians explored a range of applications and functionalities to determine whether they added value to service delivery. They were asked to record their finding in relation to the below:
- The type, scope and frequency of usage
- Difficulties encountered
- Availability and usage comparison of 3G and wi-fi
- The range of therapeutic applications available
- Efficiencies in ways of working and cost savings
Aims of the Project
- To explore different ways in which mobile technology could be used in clinical settings
- To evaluate the effectiveness of the mobile technology in clinical practice
- To highlight patient /carer opinion of using mobile devices in their treatment and or self management.
- To share experiences of iPad usage across the allied health professions
“Apps – tick all the boxes”
Scottish Government 2010 The Healthcare Quality Strategy for NHS Scotland. The Scottish Government May 2010