HIC2015: ScrubUp app scrubs up well for theatre nurses
Sydney-based Allis Technology has launched version two of its ScrubUp app for operating room nurses and surgical assistants, featuring a new journal section where users can record and save details of the procedures they are involved in.
The app has been developed by registered nurse Marrianne McGhee, an experienced scrub/scout nurse and peri-operative nurse educator who wanted to provide newly graduated nurses or those new to the theatre environment with guidance on different procedures.
“The idea of the app is to help guide and support operating room nurses, in addition to improving operating room efficiency and enhancing patient safety,” Ms McGhee said.
“There are a number of different surgical specialties so what ScrubUp does is to provide help and guidance, especially to nurses who are new to the operating room or may not be experienced in a certain procedure or surgical specialty.”
ScrubUp is preloaded with guidelines on the most common surgical procedures from 10 specialties, including orthopaedics, plastics, cardio-thoracic, ENT, gynaecology, cosmetic, obstetric, gastrointestinal and ophthalmology. The app allows nurses to add or delete any of the preloaded procedures to suit their own or their hospital's needs.
Ms McGhee is looking for feedback from nurses about other specialities they'd like to see added.
Users can also take photos of different pieces of equipment, prostheses, instruments and instrument trays, and use the app to create a particular surgeon’s preference list, complete with their own photo.
“Different surgeons have different preferences for sutures, dressings, drains etc,” Ms McGhee said. “ScrubUp is able to capture individual requirements and enable the nurse to accurately recall this information.”
The nurse can download whatever specialty they are involved with and create their surgeon’s preference list. They can also click on a particular procedure where there are guidelines on preparation, steps on how to prepare the patient, she said.
“It varies for each surgeon, so the nurse can document that. For example, the different ways they like to drape – square drapes or fenestrated drape – and any other pieces of information that will enhance patient safety and make the operation more efficient.”
There are also tips and information on how to set up the operating room. A nurse can customise what equipment a surgeon prefers, what company's prostheses they use and any other details that may aid in the efficiency of the surgical procedure, including photos of equipment to help them prepare for the case at hand, she said.
“The nurse is able to obtain the exact information for that procedure, [which] minimises any unnecessary tension that can rise within the operating room.”
The new journal feature allows nurses to record what shift and date the procedure took place on, at what time, by what surgeon and with what team. ScrubUp also has a function for saving notes on particular procedures that nurses can use for their own professional development and reflective practice.
They can also tailor the preloaded information for their own purposes with the ability to add, delete or save any of the information included, which Ms McGhee has sourced from her own extensive experience of scout and scrub nursing.
In addition to guiding and informing nurses about unfamiliar procedures, Ms McGhee hopes that nurses who are a little nervous or anxious about a new procedure – or working with a new surgeon – will use the tool to help them prepare.
“They can look at it on their way to work as the information is available anywhere, any time,” she said. “For example, for orthopaedics there are a lot of prostheses and differences with how each surgeon likes their operating room set up. With the ScrubUp app, the scout nurse could take a photo for the scrub nurse showing how the surgeon prefers the operating room set-up.”
The app is available for iPhone users now and an Android version will be available in September. Ms McGhee said smartphones are generally the preferred device for operating theatre nurses, and while they are equipped with cameras, nurses are aware of the standards and policies on taking photos in theatre and correct professional conduct concerning their patients.
Future improvements will hopefully include the ability to share a particular surgeon's preferences between nurses who regularly work with them on different campuses. The new version also enables the nurse to SMS or email surgical preferences to other colleagues.
The app costs $2.49 per month per speciality and is available now from the App Store.
Posted in Australian eHealth