Project to reduce surgical infections wins awards for patient care

Posted on Wednesday 9th March 2022
A patient using the wound app.

Children and their families can send images of their surgical wounds to their clinical team via a new app.

A project to help improve the aftercare of children and young people undergoing cardiology surgery has won three awards.

Designed by the surveillance team at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals and colleagues from across King’s Health Partners, the new app allows children and their families to take images of their surgical wounds after an operation and digitally send them to their clinical team, without having to travel into Evelina London.

The project has won the award for ‘Innovation in Surgical Site Infection’ at the Journal of Wound Care World Union of Wound Healing Societies Awards. Last year it was also successful at the Health Tech Digital Awards, winning in two categories – ‘New Health Tech Innovation of the Year’ and ‘Best Innovation Project of the Year’.

The innovative platform has been introduced at our children’s hospital over the past year, and was rolled out to patients and families last summer.

Miriam Giacobbe, deputy clinical nurse specialist in paediatric cardiac audit management at Evelina London, said: “We’re so pleased that our work with the new surveillance platform has been recognised by two awarding bodies. This is a great example of how using technology means we can take more of our specialist patient care directly into our families’ homes, especially as many come from across the South East.”

The platform, which was created in collaboration with health technology company Isla, allows our clinical team to monitor the rate at which the wound heals after the child or young person is discharged, as well as look for the first signs of any infections.

While recovering from surgery in hospital, a member of the clinical team will take a detailed photo of the wound. This also helps tailor individual aftercare information about how to look after the wound at home.

After being discharged, the family uses the app to submit weekly photos for up to four weeks. This allows the clinical team to regularly monitor the child’s recovery without them having to come into hospital. Once a photo has been submitted, an automatic alert is sent to a group of clinical nurse specialists who can review and respond to the photo. Not only does this help to reassure the family that their child is recovering well, but it also allows them to be reviewed quickly if their condition is deteriorating.

Currently 100 patient photos from Evelina London have been collected via the app. In the future, it is hoped the development of the platform will support patients with follow up care after having a pacemaker or defibrillator implants fitted.