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Mobile App to support Improvements in Pressure Ulcers & Falls Prevention

Development of an interactive & engaging mobile app to support healthcare professionals undertaking Pressure Ulcer and/or Falls Prevention improvement projects. Includes access to point-of-care tools, checklists, templates, training, networking & communication aids.

Read comments 8
  • Winning idea
  • 2022

Meet the team


  • Maria Lordan Dunphy

What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to the theme?

International evidence indicates there are a small number of high-impact patient safety risks which, if tackled effectively, can significantly improve safety & quality of healthcare.  The HSE Patient Safety Strategy 2019-2024 identifies two of these priority areas as 1) reducing the rate of acquired pressure ulcers and 2) mitigating the risk of harm from falls.

To date, our National QPS Directorate has delivered initiatives such as improvement collaboratives to support HCPs; however, particularly due to COVID-19, HCPs do not have the time nor inclination to attend onsite events. We also need to extend our Directorate’s support to wider audiences while delivering value for money.

Mobile Apps are at the forefront of social digital innovation. 90% of Irish people have access to a smartphone and >80% of browsing time is through Apps. Apps are universally recognised as a convenient way to provide immediate access to information, which in turn can support better clinical decision-making & improved patient outcomes.

What does your project aim to achieve?

The project’s aim is to design, develop and deliver a low-complexity, accessible, engaging and easily navigable mobile app to support healthcare professionals undertaking Pressure Ulcers and/or Falls Prevention improvement projects in clinical settings (both hospital and community) across Ireland.

The proposed timeframe is 6 months from design to delivery of the app, followed by 12 months of piloting & enhancing the app in 8 agreed sites as a proof of concept. This project’s ultimate goal is to reduce the number of avoidable pressure ulcers and falls across participating pilot teams by 50% during the 12 month pilot.

This project has the potential to not only directly improve the safety of patients and service users in our care, but also to increase the capacity and capability of healthcare providers and contribute to the growing pool of knowledge on the use of digital technology & apps in healthcare in the UK and Ireland.

How will the project be delivered?

The project will deliver a mobile app to support HCPs to prevent Falls & PUs. Content will include e.g.:

  • Interactive safety checklists & risk assessments
  • Signposting to related initiatives e.g.“Get Up, Get Dressed, Get Moving” campaign and falls prevention exercise programmes
  • Access to the QPS Improvement Toolkit
  • Library of QPSTalktime Webinars and short videos e.g. “Making the most of your Safety Huddle”
  • Communication aids e.g. posters & infographics for printing locally
  • Links to online training e.g. Foundational QI training, Fundamentals of PU Care
  • Networking opportunities e.g. link to Q Community SIGs

NB: majority of the content above exists or is in development.

An Oversight Group with a diverse mix of key stakeholders (including patients, staff and ICT) will ensure those with different expertise & perspectives work together to solve emergent problems and sustain engagement at different project stages. The Project Team has significant experience in Quality Improvement; project, risk and resource management; and evaluation.

How is your project going to share learning?

This project will be evaluated against 6 key elements of QI: efficiency, timeliness, effectiveness, safety, equity and patient-centredness. Quantitative & qualitative methodology will contribute to evaluation including app usage statistics, HCP questionnaires and focus groups.

The project will be presented as a QPSTalktime session and updates shared via Directorate twitter & website.

An academic paper will be authored for publication outlining the evolution of the project, from design of the app through pilot, to support shared learning across the UK & Ireland and to increase the knowledge base on using apps in healthcare improvement efforts. We will also design a poster for local and international conferences, including the International Forum on Quality & Safety in Healthcare.

If the app & pilot prove successful, we will sustain and spread improvements by sharing it across acute & community services on a phased basis. We will also put together a business case for HSE consideration for further app developments & enhancements.

How you can contribute

  • Expert – Have you expertise in the development of mobile apps to support HCPs in improving the quality & safety of their services? Can you contribute to our understanding of the impact on workload and ‘work as done not work as imagined'?
  • Critical Friend – What are the challenges we might face in developing and promoting this app to HCPs?
  • Collaborator - do you have a digital platform that we can work with to deliver this app to HCPs in Ireland?
  • Networker - any other Q projects or similar projects that you know of relating to this?

Plan timeline

20 Jun 2022 Complete PID, with particular reference to GDPR, security, information governance
27 Jun 2022 Establish Oversight Group, with TORs & regular meeting schedule
11 Jul 2022 Issue Request For Tender (RFT) for App content design partner
8 Aug 2022 Contract awarded to App content design partner
5 Sep 2022 1/2 day workshop with HCP reps & content designer
7 Sep 2022 Design of app wireframes, map app content & development
26 Sep 2022 App development & coding commences, working to agreed project schedule
10 Oct 2022 8 pilot sites recruited. Mix of hospital/community sites, geographic spread
9 Jan 2023 Test App with Oversight Group & HCPs
20 Feb 2023 Training on app for HCPs in pilot sites, where required
6 Mar 2023 Official App deployment (Alpha release) & commencement of 12 month pilot
6 Mar 2023 Ongoing maintenance and support of App
4 Sep 2023 Midpoint review, evaluation with questionnaires & focus groups
11 Sep 2023 Agree prioritised enhancements to app based on midpoint review / budget
25 Sep 2023 Communication to pilots advising on updates to app (Beta release)
1 Mar 2024 Completion of 12-month App Pilot in nominated sites
18 Mar 2024 Final evaluation of pilot undertaken, using qualitative & quantitative data
25 Mar 2024 Celebration Event & Workshop, share learning and experience
1 Apr 2024 Future proofing: final decisions on next steps for sustainability & spread


  1. Thanks for all the support and suggestions over the last few weeks! We are continuing to review and refine with feedback from local teams. Scoping a variety of ways we can meaningfully involve patients and service users in the design and delivery of this app as well.

    Always welcome ideas and feedback from our friends & colleagues in the Q Community, thank you!

  2. Really like the idea of equipping staff where they are - and the 'low-complexity/easily navigable' design as this fits with my focus on supporting staff-wellbeing whilst maximising the benefits of digital healthcare so you got one of my votes! Good luck with the project. Gillian

    1. @Gillian, thank you so much! An yes that is exactly it - speaking with some staff,  we felt there could be a good opportunity to demystify QI with an easy-to-navigate and engaging app that would also help them to address patient safety priorities. Love your toolkit proposal as well, looks like a great idea! :-)

  3. Great proposal, we've recently worked on an Eliminating Pressure Ulcers improvement collaborative, I love this idea and the simplicity of how you've written the proposal, you've got my vote :)


    1. @Michelle, thank you so much for your encouragement and support! We really appreciate it. Would love to hear more about your Eliminating Pressure Ulcers improvement collaborative as well! Hope you have a lovely weekend

  4. For those interested in the origins of our project: I was inspired after reading a paper about a Patient Safety Toolkit mobile app developed in the UK in 2018, focusing on the recognition & detection of Sepsis with toolkits, training, and personal notes. The app was tested and was found to be useful across clinical specialties.

    Our goal is to reduce the number of avoidable pressure ulcers and falls across participating pilot teams by 50% - this is based on an (achieved) goal we had for PUTZ and Falls collaboratives here in Ireland. Similar to a collaborative, the app offers a common change package & measurement strategy for teams. For example, teams will be guided to use a safety cross to record the number & grade of newly acquired PUs/month. The added value of the app is that it is an easily accessed one-stop-shop with additional interactivity & networking opportunities which can help build a sense of "collaborative" virtually and with potential for greater reach, less cost, and less travel / onsite meetings.

    We welcome all comments, feedback, and support! :-)

  5. Guest

    Eleanor Campbell 3 months, 2 weeks ago

    Hi Roisin!

    I am a QPS coordinator in OLOLH in Drogheda. I'd be happy to volunteer our site for testing & pilot objectives subject to liaising with Lead. A falls project is to start imminently across the Louth hospitals group.

    Best of luck!


    1. Thanks so much Eleanor, appreciate the support and offer subject to liaising with Lead! Best of luck with the Falls project across the Louth hospitals group, I will link in with our QPS Acute Ops colleagues to find out more! Thanks again, Roisin

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