Hospital pilots ‘Uber’style app for porters

Northwick Park Hospital is the first in the country to pilot a new app in its emergency department or staff to hail a porter on their mobile phone. The app will allow staff to see in real time when a patient has been collected and arrives at their destination.

The pilot is expected to replace the existing practice of staff filling out a two page request form and reduce the time that staff have to spend following up portering requests. It will also give porters instant, up-to-date information about the patient they are collecting.

A&E staff will be provided with iPhones with the Infinity Health e-portering mobile application already loaded onto them. iPad portering stations in various areas across the department will make sure that staff who don’t have one of the iPhones can still book a porter. More than 400 clinical and non-clinical staff will be involved in the pilot, including more than 60 porters.

Lead Consultant for Emergency Medicine Dr Miriam Harris, said: “This is a positive step towards helping us manage patient flow. The hospital is very busy and demand on portering services is always high.

“The app will help reduce the amount of time taken to request a porter or the need to chase requests up. It also allows us to add special instructions for the porter, such as the need to carry patient records, oxygen, or support equipment.

Sonia Patel, Chief Information Officer, said: “The collaboration with Infinity Health demonstrates how working with the right partners and technology helps resolve every day issues and genuinely improves the daily working lives of our staff and ultimately improve patient care.”