Doctors and nurses working for a hospitals trust which has been criticised for its standards of care have been given a smartphone app to ensure they administer antibiotics correctly.
Staff at King George Hospital in Goodmayes and Queen’s hospital in Romford will be able to access the trust's guidelines as part of an improvement plan across the trust, which is in special measures due to a £38million debt.
The app, called MicroGuide, was developed by private company Horizon and free to purchase by staff and the public.
A BHRUT spokeswoman said: "NHS staff has to administer so many different types of drugs, they need the guidance to help.
"The app is there to save them from looking up antibiotic guidelines on the staff intranet. It’s not going to save money but it should be beneficial across the board."
According to the Health Service Journal, the app saves up to one hour per nurse per shift by saving seven to 10 phone calls and three to four wasted logons per day.
Medical director Stephen Burgess believes the use of the app will raise standards.
He said: “The introduction of this app is a big step forward for the delivery of our Improvement Plan, which means better and safer care for our patients and clinical governance.”
The antibiotic app is already used by staff with their own smartphones in between 15 to 20 NHS trusts across the UK managing hospitals in London, Cardiff, Birmingham, Surrey and Sussex.
The optional app contains built in dosage calculators and allergy advice to ensure that the latest accurate antibiotic guidelines are followed.
Dr Sandra Lacey, consultant microbiologist, said immediate access to guidelines will prevent the overuse of antibiotics, which is leading to a rise in resistant bacteria.
She added: “Hopefully this development will also help with the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance, ensuring antibiotics are prescribed appropriately.”