(January 15th 2018) Tallaght Hospital have officially launched its new patient and visitor app – the first Irish public hospital to do so. The app was launched at a special event at the hospital attended by Tallaght Hospital Deputy CEO, Lucy Nugent, Group Director of Nursing, Midwifery & Quality of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, Eileen Whelan, hospital clinicians and wider staff, representatives of the Meath Foundation and the hospital’s Patient Community Advisory Council.
The app provides users with access to information on many of the services available at the hospital including hospital facilities, wards and site map, visitor information, contact details for a particular clinic or consultant, videos featuring medical experts in areas such as rheumatoid arthritis or Intensive Care, and news and updates on the hospital and its work. The app is the first of its kind within Ireland’s public hospitals. While Tallaght is taking the lead in Ireland, the hospital was motivated by the success of similar apps in other healthcare systems such as the UK and US, where such apps are increasingly the norm.
In addition to the work undertaken by Tallaght Hospital and its development partner Captive Health in developing this app, the project was also supported by both the Meath Foundation, the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group and HSE.
The app is another landmark technology project for the hospital which has a strong track-record in healthcare innovation. In recent years the hospital has introduced several new initiatives which have utilised technology to improve the patient experience and their outcomes. These have included ‘Lucy’ a remote-controlled robot which connects patients and doctors remotely; the TRASNA telemedicine system which also connects stroke patients and their families remotely with senior stroke physicians; or, PillCam a minimally invasive video recording technology, swallowed as a pill by patient, to investigate potential disorders of the small intestine.
Commenting on the launch of the app David Wall, Director of ICT at Tallaght Hospital said:
“Globally the trend in the provision of public services is increasingly migrating to mobile and individual person centred engagement. Healthcare is no different. Providers such as Tallaght Hospital have to respond to this demand. At its most basic we wanted to make it easier for our patients and their relatives and carers to get information about our hospital and its services in the most convenient and accessible way, such as straight to their mobile phone.”
“Health services in Ireland and across the world are only beginning to scratch the surface in terms of the full potential for mobile healthcare to help treat patients more effectively into the future. Today’s launch is a modest but important first step on this journey. We are eager to build on the app’s capability into the future and are already exploring how we do this. As this journey evolves, this app offers the potential to develop capabilities such as tracking patients’ conditions and overall health from their home or utilising location based services when they are within our hospital to ensure greater patient flow, particularly for those accessing outpatient care,” added Wall.
“Engaged patients are better patients and this app helps patients to arm themselves with a lot of important information which can help them get the most from their treatment at Tallaght Hospital. It will ensure that patients have the most current and accurate information about the hospital and its services, thereby supporting them at an often difficult, stressful time and improving their overall experience.
DMHG is extremely supportive of projects such as these which use new technologies to drive efficiencies and enhance patient pathways across our hospitals,” noted Mr. Trevor O’Callaghan, Acting CEO of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group.
'The Patient App is a great initiative by Tallaght Hospital and the Patient Community Advisory Council welcomed the opportunity to review it, prior to roll out and get feedback on it from our community groups. The app is another avenue for the community to get up-to-date information about the services in the Hospital. Perhaps more importantly, it is also another way for patients and visitors to provide feedback which I know is something the Hospital values as it works towards providing the highest standards of patient care. The team involved in this project are to be commended for their forward thinking in developing an app like this' said Catherine Heaney, Chair of the Tallaght Hospital Patient Community Advisory Council and Fettercairn Community Health Project Co-Ordinator.
The app is free to use, available on both iOS and Android, and can be downloaded from the App store or Play store respectively.
About Tallaght Hospital
Tallaght Hospital is one of Ireland’s largest acute teaching hospitals, providing child-health, adult, psychiatric and age-related healthcare on one site. The hospital has 495 adult beds and 67 paediatric bed with 2,600 people on staff. The Hospital is a provider of local, regional and national specialities. It is also a national urology centre, the second largest provider of dialysis services in the country and a regional orthopaedic trauma centre.
Tallaght Hospital is one of the two main teaching hospitals of Trinity College Dublin - specialising in the training and professional development of staff in areas such as nursing, health and social care professionals, emergency medicine and surgery, amongst many others. Tallaght Hospital is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which serves a population of over 1.2 million across seven counties.
A new satellite centre is to be built at Tallaght Hospital as part of the National Children’s Hospital project as a key element of an integrated clinical network for paediatric services nationally.
The Hospital’s Emergency Departments catered for 49,512 Adult Attendances and 33,717 Paediatric Attendances in 2016. A further 252,418 patients were treated through the Hospital’s adult and paediatric outpatient clinics in 2016. The Hospital’s operations are supported by 200 general practitioners in surrounding communities.
Patient Community Advisory Council
Established in 2013 the Patient Community Advisory Council (PCAC) was set up with the support of the Executive Management Team of Tallaght Hospital. The PCAC is dedicated to the improvement of quality in patient care at Tallaght Hospital and help support the Hospital’s values.
The group meets 10 times a year provides an opportunity for the Hospital to hear directly from patients, users of our services on their experience during their patient journey with the Hospital. They also provide feedback on current systems and processes in the hospital and give their thoughts on new systems being introduced and generate new ideas to improve the standard of care.
The PCAC is composed of groups representing the Community along with staff of the Hospital the current membership include community members: Catherine Heaney (Chair), Fettercairn Community Health Project; Ciaran Young (Vice Chair), Community Member special interest in the patient experience; Nuala Dignam, Community Member special interest in the people with intellectual disabilities; Marie Price Bolger, Trustus; Fran Keyes, Tallaght Travellers, Primary Healthcare Programme and Jim Lawlor, South Dublin County Council Forum. There are four members from the Hospital representing Nursing, Patient Advocacy, Paediatrics and Communications.