By: Ankur Gupta, MS 1

The UK Department of Health is conducting a trial at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) in London of a system that tracks patients’ progress after spine surgery.

HealthUnlocked Tracker allows patients to record their progress on an iPad while in the clinic. After the patient is discharged, he or she can continue to update their information through an online system.

While monitoring patient progress is nothing new, this system gives medical staff live access to information on how patients are faring after different procedures. Dr. Matthew Shaw, the lead surgeon in the trial, states:

“Having accurate information at my fingertips about my patients’ recovery is groundbreaking. It ensures that I can quickly get to grips with their perspective and provide them with first-rate healthcare.”

In addition, patient compliance with progress reporting is sure to increase, as 95% of trial participants prefer the new digital method over traditional paper systems.

If this trial succeeds, the implications for the quality and efficiency of care could be groundbreaking. Surgeons can have access to personalized feedback on their patient outcomes – with this they can tailor their treatments to better address individual patients’ needs.

Hospitals could better quantify the efficacy of operations to assess their overall value.  Regular patient reporting could also lead to physicians identifying post surgical complications such as infections quicker than with traditional follow up appointments.

Source: The Guardian