End-of-life-care is by its very nature a highly emotive and pressured environment, delivering the right pain medication at this time is one of the highest priorities. Having first-hand experience of these situations Dr Roger Flint sought a simple and accessible way to calculate opioid prescriptions quickly, record the data, and ultimately replace the need for time-intensive manual double-checking and sign-offs that can take hours in a busy hospital environment.
Waracle was engaged to produce a web and mobile app that would help calculate and double check the many possible prescription decisions including not only the type of medicines but if they were to be administered orally, by injection or patches.
Prior to development, a simple web-prototype had been used to test the concept in the field. Waracle then kicked off the detailed Discovery, sessions with medical specialists and end-users, and began developing an Angular web solution (compatible with computer browsers, Android, and iOS), that contained additional features as identified by the end-users.
A bespoke database and algorithms were also developed to support the calculations of the app. Parameters were set to trigger alarms with unsafe doses and a shared backend allows practitioners to easily log into their individual account from any connected device.
The introduction of SPOT has resulted in clear reductions in prescribing errors, freed up valuable time and given end users more confidence in their ability to prescribe opioids in high-pressure situations. Opioid use and misuse is often covered in the media and the BBC picked up on the innovation of this new life-changing app, where Dr Flint appeared discussing the inspiration behind SPOT.
The app is now set to be trialled across a number of health boards and the next stage of the journey will involve exploring other areas within healthcare which could utilise similar processes to optimise care for patients.