I participated in the first NHS Hackday last month. The weekend event in central London brought together doctors, healthcare leaders and software developers with the aim of creating solutions to problems experienced on a daily basis in the NHS.

The winning development, called ‘Patient List’, aimed to improve the handover of patients and replace the traditional task-list methods usually employed by doctors.

The Patient List problem is felt by every junior doctor in the NHS, but it was formally raised by Wai Keong Wong in a blog post titled “Give every doctor an extra 30mins/day with patients by solving the ‘Patient List’ problem”. In summary, a system is needed to save junior doctors from error-prone manual daily work compiling lists of patients and their treatments for their daily rounds. Furthermore, the system should include task lists for each patient and a way to manage transfer of tasks between shifts and departments so that nothing gets forgotten during handover.

I worked on a solution using HL7 data to populate a database. A dummy data set of patients, admissions, wards and consultants was reused from an open source project WardwareNewContext and ValueDecision teamed up with Dr Colin Brown at the Hack Day to develop a solution. The system created at the Hack Day has the following features.

  • Complete list of patient details available on demand
  • Lists can be filtered by ward
  • Patients can be marked as high, medium and low risk
  • To Do items can be assigned to a patient
  • To Do items can be marked as pending and then completed
  • A full history of To Do items is available for each patient
  • A real-time view on actions for patients and their state for any clinician

Here is the presentation we made:

And a video of our pitch