NHS Hack Day: An If This Then That for Health

Grŵp Dr. Keith Grimes / Dr. Keith Grimes' groupKeith Grimes is a GP at a walk in centre in Eastbourne. His commissioning group identified that people were going to Accident and Emergency when there were appointments available at their surgery.

Keith and his fellow group members have come together at the NHS Hack Day to create Gwyb. The name comes from ‘gwybodaeth’, which means ‘information’in Welsh. It aims is to be an ‘If This Then That’ (which can start a range of actions based on something that you do online) for medical or social care. It’s principally a notification system that allows patient and clinicians to create rules which will allow for automated actions to happen should they attend A&E or other services.

This is exciting on a number of different levels. If a patient attends A&E, Gwyb could notify the GP so that they could contact the patient and bring them to the practice for quicker and more appropriate care at their surgery.

Grŵp Dr. Keith Grimes yn Niwrnod Hacio'r GIG / Dr. Keith Grimes' group at the NHS Hack DayThe system could also mean that if a patient goes to Accident and Emergency, the department automatically receives details of their medical history, so that the patient’s needs are identified as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

If a patient was receiving palliative care, the system might also notify the hospice team, so that the patient could receive a personalised response that’s based on their personal circumstances.

Like many good ideas, patient involvement has added massive value by suggesting  other ways it might be effective. For instance the tool might notify the patient’s next of kin, or send a copy of their advance directive to the hospital. Involving patients in the setup of notifications means that patients specify the actions themselves, and that their consent creates the rules.

Excitingly, this idea could be developed further. If it proves to be effective, the scope of actions and triggers could be increased so that things like a patient’s high blood pressure might automatically notify the GP.

Just like with the Hack Day itself, there is a world of possibilities.


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