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Stroke assessments

A case study of the rapid development of a software application to record stroke assessments on the National Digital Platform.

Overview

Illustration of a medical folder connected to a mobile phone by a dotted lineNHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde worked with emergency department clinical leads, the University of Glasgow and NES Technology Service to develop a Digital Acute Stroke Assessment application.

The first assessment of a patient presenting with a possible stroke is crucial. Previously this information was captured in a paper format. Collecting the data electronically speeds up this process, making it easier to share records with remote decision makers, in real time.

The project commenced in late 2019, just before Covid hit. The plan was to create a technology solution to enable the gathering of data initially at the QEUH with a view, on success of the pilot, to rollout to the Neurointerventional Centres in the East and North.

The objectives were:

  • to record a stroke assessment based on the SBAR (Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendation) format
  • to determine the course of treatment for the patient
  • to determine if patients require transfer from the region to a centre of excellence
  • to gather data in an easily shareable format
Image of the Stroke application being used on a tablet

Process

The design process was quick and involved clinicians who would be using the solution day to day.

It made use of National Digital Platform (NDP) Application development framework and Workforce identity access service, saving time.

The fact that these tools and style guide were built to be accessible (WCAG 2.1 AA compliant) also saved time.

So much development time is around design. If you don't have to worry about that too much and you've got an authentication method and a design and all of your look and feel and style sheets sorted out that cuts the development time in half.

Head shot of Andy Hyde, Strategy and Development Programme Manager at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Andy Hardy

Strategy and Development Programme Manager - NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

The NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde team consisted of one project manager and one developer - who worked with the NES Technology team on a quick turnaround.

There was a prototype in front of clinicians for use within months. The project build started before Christmas 2021 and the solution went into operation from the beginning of 2022.

Impact

The application has been in place in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for the last six months and is now in routine use.

It’s now bedded in with the benefits being realised within the first few months.

Head shot of Andy Hyde, Strategy and Development Programme Manager at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Andy Hardy

Strategy and Development Programme Manager - NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

It will shortly roll out to the Royal Alexandria Hospital in Paisley, the Glasgow Royal Infirmary and then to other hospitals across the region.

To date:

  • 1100 stroke patients in Glasgow have been assessed
  • stroke assessment completion statistics have gone up from 40% to 100%
Image of the logos of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, University of Glasgow and NHS Education for Scotland

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© NHS Education for Scotland 2022