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The Resident Guide app offers critical information and support to clinicians, who save 5 minutes of their time for every minute spent using the app. Ahead of joining the Health Horizon Innovation Alley at the World Hospital Congress in October, CEO Tom Collins spoke to us about the goals of Resident Guide.

Tom Collins, CEO, Resident Guide by Med Apps

What is your health innovation? What does it aim to do?

Resident Guide is a site-specific digital hospital handbook. It contains critical information for clinicians about their hospital, including consult guides, procedures, common calls, rotation and handover information as well as a hospital phone, pager, and code directory and wellbeing information. It gives medical education and workforce teams the tools to directly engage with their clinician cohorts.
Resident Guide aims to tackle 3 areas of hospital practice — onboarding and orientation, clinician wellbeing, and engagement. By focusing on these 3 areas the solution is addressing the quadruple aim in healthcare (improving patient experience, improving population health, reducing the cost of healthcare, and improving staff wellbeing). We are giving clinicians the tools they need when they need them so they feel confident and capable in their jobs.

How is your innovation relevant to hospitals?

Designed and tested in the clinical environment, it has been made to solve problems that many clinicians face when they either start at a new hospital or move to a new rotation within the same hospital or in a wider public health district.
The platform was initially built to address the junior doctor experience, but the same problems are applicable to other health professions. Current onboarding and orientation often uses a mix of hard copy materials, intranet pages, or USBs and make the information difficult to access when it’s needed (e.g. on the wards).
We facilitate information sharing so that the standard of content is raised across all our customer sites. We also recognise that hospitals are high-pressure workplaces and it is important to have easy access to useful mental health and wellbeing support without the stigma of stand-alone support apps.

What challenges have you come up against in developing your health innovation? What motivated you to keep going?

Timely decision making: Having an easy to implement/light touch solution that is integrating into an often slow-moving procurement process within hospitals. We continue to refine our value proposition for different user groups. We collect, analyze, and share usage and performance measures that highlight the benefits of a Resident Guide implementation.
Education on technology, building, and maintaining successful products: Many facilities are in the process of building applications locally, without the required skills, capability or capacity. These applications, from our experience, become unsustainable, costly to maintain.
We stay motivated by focusing on our vision to improve the working lives of all clinicians. Our core values are aligned to improving patient outcomes and experience, reducing the overall cost per capita of healthcare, and improve the clinician experience and wellbeing. On a practical level, we leverage an agile approach along with the support of specific performance measures, enabling proactive decision making.

What is one thing the public could do to help your innovation to succeed?

Who is caring for our carers? Clinicians are people too — research shows that a healthy, better prepared, and engaged healthcare workforce deliver better outcomes for patients and reduce costs for the health systems they work in.

Patients, families, and carers should encourage their healthcare providers to support tools, services, and programmes that improve the working lives of clinicians. The return on investment will be healthier clinicians and better outcomes for their family, friends, and loved ones.

“We are giving clinicians the tools they need when they need them so they feel confident and capable in their jobs.”

What is the next step for your innovation?

We are focused on supporting as many Medical Students and Doctors in Training across Australia as possible. While we have primarily focused on Doctors, the same themes, problems and opportunities exist in all clinical disciplines. We plan to expand into disciplines in the coming six months

We are also committed to building new features that improve the efficiency / effectiveness / wellbeing of frontline clinicians. Some of these include:
— Education / event attendance
— Wellbeing self-assessments
— Digital prescribing
— Shift swaps/casual pool management
— Procedure Logbook
— Overtime recorder
— Digital Prescribing

Our aim is to be implemented in one facility in every state and territory across Australia — and have one facility up and running in New Zealand by the end of the financial year. With a strong Australian foundation we’ll look to expand internationally.

What are the benefits of developing your innovation in Australia?

By having a local team of healthcare and technology professionals we’ve been able to rapidly adapt and improve the user experience for the clinician and administration users based on their feedback. This includes refining our implementation and customer success approach.

There is a range of funds, grants, schemes and investors for innovations in healthcare service delivery and support making Australia an attractive place to found a start-up. Ongoing involvement in start-up and medical communities have enabled the team to foster and grow ideas in a positive environment.

The growing body of evidence around clinician wellbeing and the benefits of an engaged workforce has meant more healthcare providers are showing interest in supporting clinicians in different ways.

Anything else you would like to let us know?

Resident Guide currently has ~3,000 Doctors in Training using the platform across Australia.

While we develop digital solutions that support clinician productivity and wellbeing we are also passionate about providing opportunities for clinicians to be involved in the research. We are in the process of standing up a longitudinal study covering a cross-section data points focusing on implementing and evaluating clinician wellbeing programmes.

The MedApps team aims to model the behaviours we ask of our users by:
— Using the app for our own onboarding, wellbeing and engagement
— Fostering a culture of wellbeing and regularly checking-in on capacity and workload of the team
— Thinking Big, but adapting to the local environment

The MedApps team is grateful to be in a fortunate position to support clinicians through their education, training and care delivery.

Resident Guide is one of twelve Australian health innovations being showcased by Health Horizon at the 2018 World Hospital Congress in Brisbane. Find out more about our diverse Innovation Alley cohort here.

Heading to WHC? Be sure to check out the Health Horizon Innovation Alley Stands 65–70. Chat and learn more about our great cohort, search our 1000+ database of Australian innovations and add your own innovations to our growing global database.

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