Tell us a little bit about yourself and your improvement journey.
I have been working as a speciality doctor in respiratory medicine at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for 5 years. I have also been very interested in digital for most of my life. My digital interests filtered into my current healthcare role when I started thinking of ways to streamline my work processes. This led me to create a desktop app called Spiritum. This houses the sleep, bronchiectasis and tuberculosis services. It automates the moving of data within the trust, creating standardised clinical letters and retrieves lab and radiology reports, flagging abnormal ones up for clinicians to review. As part of works to improve the sleep service, the Spiritum app helped reduce the breach rate of this service by 79% over a two-year period.
As part of works to improve the sleep service, the Spiritum app helped reduce the breach rate of this service by 79% over a 2-year period.
A spin-off from the Spiritum app was a robotic process automation program called Quick Spiritum. This uses robotic process automation to automate and speed up routine clinical tasks. These tasks include looking up imaging (eg chest X-rays), bloods and clinical letter and requesting tests and referrals. Quick Spiritum was found to save, on average, 30% of clinician’s time on these tasks. This work has shown what is possible with automation and digitisation, and our department is keen to tackle the next big issue. Hence, we are now working on improving the local lung cancer pathway using digitisation and automation. I have two computer science placement students working with me on this project. We now have a functional proof-of-concept app that we can easily showcase. We have made this app in open source. We have also been building the app in a modular fashion. By using open source and a modular build, we hope to be able to allow other disease sites and trusts to both benefit and collaborate on this work. I hope to start writing blogs and documentation of the digital pathway work on the Spiritum Duo website. You can hear more about the “Quick Spiritum” program and the digital pathway work “Spiritum Duo” on an NHS SCW podcast which I spoke at.
The idea behind the Spiritum Duo logo I designed is a dandelion being blown, as Spiritum Duo is latin for “breath two”.
What first attracted you to Q and what are you hoping to get out of it?
I am a big advocate of working collaboratively and in the open. This also includes programming with open source. Over the last few years of building digital solutions for my department I have seen how networking and collaborating has helped move these builds forwards. I am very much learning as I go with these digital builds, learning not only about programming, but also about clinical governance, cultural change, NHS standards and much more. I heard about the Q community whilst studying for the Gold QI course at my trust. I feel the Q community is an important area for people to network and collaborate, and I very much look forward to seeing where things take me. I also look forward to improving my research and QI skills through the teachings offered by the Q community.
Mark has been working with the SWAG cancer alliance group and Gloucestershire University to create the inaugural “Let’s Talk Digital Conference” hybrid event. Find more information and book your place on 18th March.