Be Guided By Florence

Be Guided By Florence

Getting your blood pressure monitored regularly can be a bit of a bind, especially if it means trekking to your local GP surgery in the wind and rain. But now the humble text message – one of the simplest methods of communication – means some patients in NHS Forth Valley soon won’t have to move from the comfort of their own home.

Initially patients in around ten local GP practices will receive a text from their practice asking for information about their hypertension. They can then take their own blood pressure readings and text in the result. All the readings will be collated on a web interface which can be viewed by clinicians. Those behind the scheme say it feels just like sending a text message to a friend!

Crucially, if readings fall out-with certain parameters agreed in their management plan, a text will be sent back to the patient advising them that, for example, their readings are a little high and what to do next. An alert can also be sent to their clinician to support early intervention which can reduce the need for the patient to travel to their GP or hospital.

The system is called Florence (Flo), after Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, and is the new way to monitor patients. Although the ‘back end’ of Flo – the computer programming needed to make it work – is complex, what the patient sees and interacts with could not be more simple and familiar, given the prevalence of mobile phones and texting.

Flo is just one example of innovation within NHS Forth Valley and a range of innovation tools and resources are available to support local staff and services. These can be accessed via the EPQi and Research and Development pages on the staff intranet. You can also speak to a member of the EPQi team on 01324 567955 for advice about how to take your ideas forward, get involved in innovation that’s already taking place and information about innovation funding opportunities.

Winter 2017/18 Developments & Innovations