A new app which has made life easier for junior doctors and has delivered cost savings for New South Wales public hospitals is now being introduced to Queensland.
The Resident Guide app provides a digital hospital handbook which introduces young doctors to a new facility in a more efficient way by hosting protocols and procedures, orientation guidance, rosters, and a phone directory all accessible from a smartphone or tablet.
Besides the efficiency factor, the app also includes a resource to support Junior Doctor’s welfare and wellbeing which aims to reduce stress and create networks across hospitals. This component is being developed with input from members of the AMA Doctors in Training Committee, Junior Doctors and Local Health Districts.
Resident Guide has already been adopted by 14 public hospitals, in five NSW health regions; Hunter New England, South Eastern Sydney, Central Coast, Murrumbidgee, and Western NSW and is currently used by over 1200 Junior Doctors.
How has Resident Guide been received so far?
New South Wales Medical Apps entrepreneur and Doctor, Rob Pearlman, said the app had already saved the New South Wales hospital system a quarter of a million dollars and he is confident that similar savings could be achieved in Queensland.
“We are in the final stages of implementing a formal contract with Toowoomba Public Hospital, are on the verge of concluding an arrangement with another Queensland hospital and are hopeful that other facilities will see the benefits of using the Resident App. The potential for national scalability is exciting.”
“There is increasing concern about the wellbeing of Junior Doctors and we believe the use of the App will reduce stress, with research obtained from its use to be provided all groups that are interested and active in this space,” Dr Pearlman said.
What is the story behind Resident Guide?
Doctor Pearlman’s development of the app coincided with the Hunter New England Local Area Health Service (HNE) determining it needed a more efficient orientation system, as the largest public health district with 125 new doctors each year spread across nine hospitals.
The existing system was paper based and took weeks to put together to include factsheets, policies, and procedures. Hunter New England’s Director of Medical Workforce, Dale Erwin, wanted an app which could host the HNE intra-net, plus more, and connected with Rob.
The app was then trialled at Maitland late last year on a small group of doctors and then officially launched to HNE residents during this year’s February intake. The feedback from doctors has been extremely positive, with HNE now planning to roll it out to all doctors, not just juniors.
HNE has found big benefits like reduced time and effort, with data revealing every minute spent on the app is saving a junior doctor five minutes that can now be given to patient care.
Resident Guide also delivers:
- Increased patient/doctor contact resulting in better patient outcomes and satisfaction
- The power of doctor’s personal devices decreases dependency on computers and IT infrastructure
- Audit trails and sign-offs streamline hospital accreditation, reporting, and audit processes
- Removal of paper manuals and guidelines reduces printings costs and environmental impact
Rob is currently working as a Junior Doctor in Emergency and taught himself to code while studying medicine. He now has 5 employees working for him at his company, MedApps, where Resident Guide is just one product. Rob sacrifices a salary in order to grow his business.