Evaluation of the NHS Learning Disabilities Remote Mobile access Project
Funded by Merseycare NHS Trust, The project examined whether staff within the Trust can access applications such as the ePEX, system as well as email and centrally stored files whilst being mobile where practitioners operate outside fixed working environments.
The evaluation provides an in-depth analysis of ‘usability’ i.e how well the system and the processes are accepted and accommodated by the practitioners, what if any are the issues, which would hamper its uptake.
A questionnaire based study was conducted to see how the organisation’s interest could be balanced with individual needs. In focussing on the practitioner’s experiences of using mobile technologies, the study focussed on six broad lines of enquiry;
- Does the mobile technology aid better use of information?
- What benefits does better use of information bring to the service user, clinician and the trust
- How is the mobile technology & devices being used?
- Does the installation of the new technology increase efficiency?
- Since the installation of the new mobile technology, what are the dis-benefits?
- Is there evidence that since the mobile technology, the working conditions & experience has improved?
Overall, findings support that the mobile technology has had a positive effect on work processes, leading to enhanced benefits for patients although there may well be some challenges for the organisation.
Flexibility has clearly meant that clinicians now have more control over their working day. Indeed, perhaps one of the main outcomes is to move clinicians out from fixed infrastructures into those that are more flexible and suited to the new TIME build. Building on findings in other organisations it is likely that the best way of achieving this is through the use of mobile technology and the concept of hot desks. The mobile technology provides clinicians with tools required to access and record information, whilst hot desks provide a temporary base where clinicians can return to if required. The point that needs to be stressed is that mobile technology use should not in any way adversely affect working conditions but promote and improve working experiences.
In terms of future benefits, it is necessary to appreciate that the mobile technology available to the clinician is extensible and is capable of providing much more functionality. It is recommended that a further study is carried out once the mobile technology has had time to become embedded and the main connectivity issues (i.e VPN related) have been addressed. The analysis we have provided in the report should make the point that the installation of the new mobile technology is not a single event but a platform on which could be built, over time, very significant enhancements of service provision.
Contact: Dr Farath Arshad. ( firstname.lastname@example.org )