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A mobile revolution for community services?

Kathryn Drayton
National Clinical Lead for Mobile Working Department of Health

As part of the Community Information Project, within the Department of Health's Transforming Community Services Programme, a “Mobile Health Worker Project” is under way, as Kathryn Drayton explains

The “Mobile Health Worker Project” will assess the benefits of connected mobile working for community clinicians, who use can use laptops to connect to clinical and non clinical applications. This way of working will contribute to greater efficiencies and improved patient outcomes in the future.

This project will initially run for six months, but there is an expectation that all of the sites will continue to measure and use transformational change after the detailed report has been produced in March 2011.

In March 2010, a baseline assessment revealed that many provider organisations were deploying mobile access to clinical applications. An initial evaluation showed that there were some areas that needed improvement - such as making the deployment part of a project. It showed how important it is to support organisations to make the implementation more effective in the future.

This led to a “State of Readiness” toolkit being developed with Yorkshire and Humber SHA. The toolkit allows services or organisations to assess their readiness for a mobile working project to go live, and also gives an indication of what needs to be in place to improve the deployment of mobile working. (The toolkit is available at:

Eleven sites are now taking part in the first phase of the Mobile Health Worker Project, with organisations chosen to represent a wide range of services, geography and clinical applications.
All of the sites have been extremely enthusiastic, and have worked hard to enable a “go live” for over 430 clinical users. From this point onwards, all of the sites will be supported with the process and service change required to ensure the deployment remains clinically focused; to deliver improved patient and staff experiences and enable improvements in
service delivery.

The sites cover a multitude of applications, including: Systmone, iPM, e-CAF, Care FX Portal, Summary Care Record, Rio, Emis Web. They also have access to decision support tools and web-based applications through internet access such as: Internet Room booking, NHSmail, Electronic Document Management, Pathology Results, Ordering of Equipment and Patient Satisfaction Feedback.

The project covers a broad range of services, including: Palliative Nurse Specialists, Palliative Multidisciplinary Team, Children's services, Podiatry, Drug Alcohol and Rehab service, Rapid Response, Cardiac Rehab, Speech and Language Therapy, District Nurses, Community Matrons, Health Visiting, Pulmonary Rehab Rapid response and Hospital at Home.

The key outputs from the project will include baseline and benefit capture tools, a business case template and a detailed report. The report itself will cover a wide remit; from general lessons learned around mobile implementation, right down to the specifics relating to the particular clinical systems or processes used at a given site. It will detail the benefits found to be associated with the use of mobile solutions in given services, and with different applications. Staff and patient experiences will form part of the report, as a vital demonstration of the positive impact of mobile working.
All in all we hope that this project will aid potential organisations in the future to achieve service transformation through the use of technology. 

For more information on the Community Information Project, please visit: