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Hospital digitises patient questionnaires with Decent Group iPad system

The Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases uses FileMaker Platform with custom iPad solution to enhance data collection
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The Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases NHS Foundation Trust (RNHRD) in Bath, known locally as the “Min,” has introduced a patient data collection questionnaire solution, developed by Decent Group using the FileMaker Platform, following a successful trial at the Trust.

This innovative data collection method was trialled by patients at the RNHRD’s Rheumatology clinic, who used an iPad to complete a Rheumatoid Arthritis Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), prior to their appointment. The HAQ questionnaire assesses a patient’s functional ability and enables doctors to measure patient’s progress over time. Historically, patients have only been able to fill in their HAQ on paper.

“We are always looking at ways to further improve patient care. Collecting information electronically makes tracking patient progress and care over time particularly simple. By automating the collection and scoring process, clinicians can quickly consult a patient’s history, which will assist in identifying any changes since their last visit,” stated Dr Raj Sengupta, Consultant Rheumatologist, at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases.

The system demonstrates why Decent Group is known for creating ‘perfect fit’ software systems. Director James Ducker commented: “We’ve tailored the system exactly as the RNHRD wanted it. Dr Sengupta was the driving force but the IT department, nurses, clinicians and patients all had their input to make the system as useful, easy to use and efficient as possible.”

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An additional benefit of the new solution is the ability it gives the hospital to report in more detail on patient care. The use of FileMaker enables doctors to track and report more easily on improvements in patient care and their functional ability.

The system goes beyond the standards of information security and data privacy required by the NHS: no data is stored on the iPads, full hardware and software security measures are in place to ensure that only authorised devices can access the system, and all data is SSL-encrypted throughout.

The iPads are housed in a special antibacterial case which can easily be wiped down, an important consideration for the RNHRD, who have an excellent record on infection control.

Tony Speakman, Director, Northern Europe, FileMaker International, comments: “The introduction of this digitised questionnaire demonstrates RNHRD’s commitment to making a positive impact on the experience of patients. We have seen that organisations across the NHS are recognising that platforms traditionally labelled as ‘business’ technology can enhance patient experience, while safeguarding privacy. We’re proud to be a part of improving patient care.”

Following the successful trial, the new FileMaker system is likely to be rolled out to further clinics and to cover more questionnaires.

Dr Sengupta added, “To date we’ve received positive feedback from patients, nurses and clinicians using this approach, and we will evaluate how this method of data collection could be potentially used in other clinics across the Trust.”

To download a demo of the patient questionnaire solution: Click Here

Watch a short video of the demo:

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