NHS Western Isles won a prestigious award at the national EHI Live 2017 event at Birmingham NEC on October 31-November 1, for innovative work on the Morse app which came first in the ‘Best App for Clinicians’ category.

The Morse app, which was developed with supplier Cambric as a key strand of NHS Western Isles strategy to go digital, enables staff to manage their caseload entirely whilst working in the community.

This means that appointments, case-notes, assessments, referrals and other patient information are available within the app, based on the clinical role of the user. This enables forms and notes to be completed by staff away from their base, which are securely electronically transmitted back to base and automatically filed within the patient’s digital health record.  

Locally, the Department of Nutrition & Dietetics and Community Psychiatric Nursing (CPN) team were the first services to trial the app, which they have been using for over a year.   Karen France, NHS Western Isles Nutrition & Dietetics Manager, who provided a presentation at EHI Live on the clinician’s perspective of using the app, highlighted the fact it has lead to a huge reduction in administrative time – resulting in 40% less for their Dietetic Assistant and saved five hours per clinician per week within the CPN team.  The result of these savings means additional time can be spent with patients, which is essential for small teams with large caseloads.  

Her presentation also provided examples of through utilising an electronic record improved patient safety and communication between clinicians.  The EHI Live judges were not only impressed by this information but also on becoming aware of the collaborative way that clinicians worked with the software developers to ensure that the app met their requirements, as well as how it can be continuously developed to meet their requirements in the future. 

Christine Chlad, NHS Western Isles eHealth Project Manager, said: “I am delighted for both Cambric and the clinicians who helped us, from testing the very first version of Morse to the current version, which is really revolutionising the way in which our Community and AHP teams can work.  The feedback and enthusiasm from our teams has helped us deliver a truly clinician led solution and I am very much looking forward to rolling it out to all the other teams over the coming months.”

The development has been driven by clinicians who have been closely involved ever since an early workshop was held in October 2015 to identify the functions which would have the greatest benefit to clinicians and would enable the greatest efficiencies through the removal of paper-based processes.

Jon Harris, NHS Western Isles Head of IT & eHealth, said: “Morse is a vital part of our digital strategy and the collaboration between our clinicians, our eHealth team and the supplier has been second to none. It is very rewarding to see the hard work of the last two years being recognised at a national level in this way”.

The implementation is planned to complete during 2018, with all community and AHP services using the app.  In addition the app is now also being implemented in NHS Dumfries & Galloway and NHS Highland.

The photograph shows from left, Garry Sherriff, Cambric Systems, and Karen France, NHS Western Isles Nutrition & Dietetics Manager, being presented with the award for ‘Best App for Clinicians’ by Adrian Byrne, Director of Informatics, University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.