Patient safety is a value at the core of modern and high-quality healthcare, but it is also a complex problem.
Patient safety was defined by the IOM as "the prevention of harm to patients" or by AHRQ as practices "that reduce the risk of adverse events related to exposure to medical care across a range of diagnoses or conditions."
Though awareness regarding patient safety in the medical community is growing, implementing systematic approaches similar to those used in other industries is proving difficult.
Patient safety and better health outcomes can be improved by empowering the patient to take an active part in their health and by implementing new technologies, particularly mobile devices and apps.
Mobile technology in health care allows easier communication, makes reference material or information more accessible, supports decision making processes, and can also improve patient safety.
Nowadays, many clinicians are using various mobile apps to improve patient safety and avoid liability.
Here, we listed some of the most popular apps that promote patient safety and better treatment.
Patient Safety Manual app, created by Cranworth Medical and Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust brings more than 50 safety and clinical guidelines and clinical scores, allowing providers to quickly access the plethora of information required for the safe treatment of their patients.
The app's content deals with common clinical situations, including optimum fluid management, common drug doses, and clinical scoring systems.
The Patient Safety Manual app is available for free on Android and iOS platform.
TeamSTEPPS Pocket Guide App
Patient safety experts agree that communication between health providers and other teamwork skills are essential to the delivery of high-quality health care and the prevention of medical errors.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is the leading national agency for research to improve the safety and quality of health care.
They developed the TeamSTEPPS Pocket Guide app based on the Team Strategies & Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety teamwork system, which is also known as TeamSTEPPS.
The TeamSTEPPS Pocket Guide is a quick-reference app ideal for everyone who has completed the AHRQ TeamSTEPPS training.
The app contains summaries of all of the helpful tools and strategies to improve patient care and safety taught in the course.
The TeamSTEPPS app is available for free on iOS and Android devices.
Surgical interventions are an essential component of health care. Despite the positive impact the surgeries can have on a patient's health, the procedure itself carries significant risk.
The safety of the patients who undergo surgery remains one of the most important priorities for healthcare teams. A tool that is most commonly used to ensure a positive patient experience is a surgical safety checklist, particularly the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist, which helps ensure that important safety steps are reliably followed for each and every operation.
There are many mobile apps based on the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist, including CheckAid app which is a simple, portable tool for implementing standardized checklists before, during and after surgical procedures.
The app is available for free for iPhone and iPad.
Our score: 81%
Patient sign-out is considered the most dangerous procedure in the medical practice, with up to 80 percent of serious medical errors involving miscommunication during handoffs.
AirSignout app is a free practical quality assurance tool for iOS intended to help handoff communication and to provide a secure and convenient means to manage and record patient information involving key issues and safety concerns.
Sign-out data can be securely exported from AirSignout app via email, iMessage or AirDrop using a password protected 128-bit encryption.
AirDrop can be also used to securely transfer entire lists and cases to the entire team, meaning that the lists and cases can be continually updated or revised without having to re-enter data.
AirSignout app is a perfect solution for Emergency Department doctors and residents, as well as internists, especially when having a long list of patients to sign out.
Our score: N/A
APSS - Actionable Patient Safety Solutions App
Every year, the Patient Safety Movement Foundation (PSMF) produces evidence-based Actionable Patient Safety Solutions (APSS) for hospitals to implement so they can decrease the number of preventable deaths.
The Patient Safety Movement Foundation has developed 31 solutions to over 16 patient safety challenges facing hospitals today.
Each of the solutions is developed by a workgroup comprised of patient safety experts, healthcare technology professionals, hospital leaders, and patient advocates, and is updated every year by multidisciplinary workgroups.
All Actionable Patient Safety Solutions (APSS) can be accessed via APSS app which is available for Android and iOS for free.
Kanal's MR Risk Assessment App
MRI scans can pose a serious risk to certain patients, such as those who may have any sort of implant, device or foreign body that may be adversely affected by the magnetic fields.
There are multiple factors affecting the safety during MRI scans, which include not only the type of implant but also its location, the type of MRI scan being done, the part of the body being imaged, the strength of the magnet, the configuration of the MRI machine, and other issues and considerations.
Dr. Emanuel Kanal, director of MR services at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a well-known expert on MRI safety issues, has developed the MR Risk Assessment app for iPhone and iPad to address the common safety issues involved in MRI scan and help providers determine whether a patient can be safely imaged by MR.
The MR Risk Assessment app is intended for the MR technologists, radiologists, and MR physicists, particularly those who have attended one of Dr. Emanuel Kanal's MRMD/MRSO MR Safety Training Courses.
However, the app's price of $99.99 may be off-putting to some users.
Our score: N/A