An innovative health technology company, that has seen its secure mobile communications app scale rapidly in the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic, is expanding its multi-platform solution to pharmacy networks and GP practices to improve the coordination of important communication and prescribing information between healthcare professionals and patients.
The Hospify mobile app became the very first clinical messaging app to be approved for the official NHS Apps library by NHS Digital in early March 2020, shortly before the Covid-19 outbreak. Since then it has been downloaded by thousands of healthcare professionals looking for a simple, convenient communications tool that doesn’t compromise data compliance rules in the way that consumer messaging applications do.
The company has now launched the Hospify ‘Web App’, a browser-based version of its service that will support many more health and care scenarios, including that of GPs and pharmacists needing to share prescription information about and with individual patients. The Web App makes Hospify accessible across multiple devices, allowing users to send messages via their phone and then pick up the conversation back at their desk on a PC or laptop, for example.
Pharmacists and GPs, particularly those servicing communities in rural or geographically dispersed areas, have faced major communication challenges during Covid-19. The need to reduce physical footfall to prevent the spread of the virus has made it far more difficult for patients to get their prescriptions, with some GP surgeries reliant on physical prescription tickets and even fax machines as the only form of remote transmission.
As GPs and pharmacies prepare for the winter flu season, Hospify will allow clinicians and patients to exchange patient identifiable data while remaining firmly within data compliance guidelines. Clinicians and pharmacies subscribing to the Hospify Web App can also access conversations on desktop and laptop, store their messages in the cloud and download information to the patient record while maintaining those same rigorous standards.
James Flint, the co-founder and CEO of Hospify, said: “The release of our Web App completes our platform and allows us to provide the NHS, care providers and patients with easy-to-use, cost-effective technology that works in many healthcare situations and at all scales, including at a regional level.
“We have always had a particular focus on assisting communications between healthcare institutions, not just within them, and so we’re particularly pleased to see the take-up of the Web App by networks of GP surgeries and pharmacies, which have a particularly pressing need for this kind of simple but effective communication tool.”
The Hospify Mobile App and Web App are paired with an online tool, the Hospify Hub, that is now in use at more than 200 hospitals and other health and care sites throughout the UK. The Hub allows healthcare administrators to set up and coordinate teams of Hospify users and coordinate large scale use of the communications platform.
NHS vascular surgeon Neville Dastur, co-founder and chief technology officer at Hospify, said: “The new Hospify Web App can add value for a huge range of clinical scenarios and settings. These include managing ambulance transfers, managing conversations across a surgery or clinic and for being used as a mechanism for keeping track of evolving clinical conversations over several weeks or months.
“In addition, it could be the means to connect many thousands of staff across hospitals, social care, in other parts of the health ecosystem and, importantly, their patients.”
Hospify has continued to hit headlines in recent months following an organic growth in the use of the technology through the NHS Apps Library, where it remains the only general messaging app to have been approved for use by both patients and clinicians. NHS Wales, Devon CCG and many individual NHS trusts including London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, County Durham & Darlington NHS Trust, Lincolnshire Community NHS Trust, Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and South Tyneside NHS Trust have also all signed off the app for use by their employees.
Healthcare organisations wishing to deploy Hospify’s technology at scale can now procure the platform through a number of national frameworks – notably NHSX’s new Clinical Communication Tools framework and Spark, the technology innovation marketplace dynamic purchasing system (DPS) launched by the Crown Commercial Service during the Covid-19 pandemic.