Communication tools in the workplace (#3003)

Idea Description
Overview of Innovation:
Anaesthetists are renowned as effective communicators.This skill underpins every working day. From handovers , to ITU referrals, pre-assessment of patients , managing anaesthetic emergencies to calling the consultant for advice in the middle of the night. Tools for communication have evolved and these integral systems vary within hospitals. The last decade has seen widespread use of mobile phones with touch screen technology allowing further access to quick communication. We have looked at the tools commonly used by trainees to enhance communication.

Materials and Methods
Prospective snap shot questionnaire using ‘Survey Monkey’ looking at methods of communication amongst anaesthetic trainees within London hospitals.

The majority of trainees found face to face communication the best tool to communicate. WhatsApp and personal mobile phones were deemed an important application in daily communication. Trainees percieved WhastApp use as positive, however some thought being contacted out of hours made it difficult to switch off from work.

The messenging application 'WhatsApp' is the most popular tool used for communication. In view of recent cyber attacks within uk hospitals, this tool of communication requires back up when wifi systems fail. Most hospitals offer landlines, deck phones and bleeps but personal phones are deemed quicker and more effective in contacting colleagues.

What does the future hold:
- Confidential medical applications offering confidential means of communicating effectively.
- Widespread use of work mobile phones for means of communication

Future areas of interest:
- Encourage WhatsApp as a means of quick effective communication during working hours.
-Educate trainees on the flaws of communication with regard to confidentiality and professionalism
- Suggest muting or archiving work groups during periods of leave to avoid constant work connection

I chose the project as I feel strongly about trainee communication. It promoted positive discussions about communication tools amongst trainee colleagues.
I would like to further increase awareness amongst trainees on the importance of the correct tools for the correct forms of communication and also the importance of switching off from work.
Destiny: Promote awareness through education and discussion.
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Innovation 'Elevator Pitch':
Hospify is a health data platform built on free & trusted messaging for patients and clinicians. A free messaging app is available to all users; a team messaging platform is sold to hospitals, surgeries, pharmacos and other healthcare institutions.
Overview of Innovation:
  • Hospify is an ubiquitous health comms ecosystem that puts patients & clinicians in control of their health interactions in a way that everyone can access and trust
  • Hospify allows patients to connect with and control their communications with healthcare providers, pharmacists, pharmacos and insurers
  • Like Slack in the commercial sector, Hospify uses open standards to enables other health apps and digital services to function within an ecosystem that benefits all parties involved
  • Hospify’s unique “serverless” phone- powered network architecture allows it to scale users without scaling costs while staying compliant with all data regulations.
There are lots of healthcare messaging companies popping up. So what makes Hospify different?

1) A messaging platform is only useful if everyone can be on it. That’s why people love WhatsApp. For everyone to be on it, the core platform has to be free. Hospify is built on a unique serverless architecture that allows it to scale the app without scaling the costs of supporting it.  This allows Hospify to offer its core messaging, for free, to everyone, forever, without needing to monetize our users’ data or sell them ads in order to do it. 
2) That serverless structure means that we don’t store users’ data (one of the reasons that we can’t monetize it!). All the data, at least in the free, secure and compliant app, is kept on the user’s device, and only on the user’s device. This means that compliance is baked in from the start, and enormously reduces data liabilities and security overheads - which in turn helps support our ability to provide the app for free to the majority of users.
3) Hospify is really simple to use. Most of our competitors are building complicated messaging tools designed to appeal to doctors. But at Hospify our focus is on nurses and patients - the people at the sharp end of health, who want solutions that are simple and effective and don’t require a manual in order to them figure out.
4) The Hospify messaging app is only part of what we do. Hospify’s secret weapon is the HospifyHub. The Hub transforms the App’s “WhatsApp”- style experience into something that’s more like Slack, with a web portal and a desktop app that syncs with users’ phones without compromising our compliant and scalable “serverless” architecture. The Hub offers administrated groups, broadcast messaging, and data capture via messaging surveys, and is designed to integrate with and handle data from third-party apps.
Stage of Development:
Close to market - Prototype near completion and final form may require additional validation/evaluation and all CE marking and regulatory requirements are in place
WMAHSN priorities and themes addressed: 
Long term conditions: a whole system, person-centred approach / Clinical trials and evidence / Digital health / Innovation and adoption / Person centred care
Benefit to NHS:
Efficiency gains from simple, non-siloed comms
Reduced risk of data breach and better clinician & patient privacy
Reduced time to decisions
Fewer face-to-face follow-ups
More timely interventions
Improved patient-centric care  
Improved mobile working
Improved interdisciplinary and inter-organisational working
Initial Review Rating
4.00 (2 ratings)
Benefit to WM population:
Easier access to clinical professionals
Reduced travelling to appointments
More control over personal health data
Reduced risk of health data breach
Less frustrated clinical staff!
Reduced spend at CCG level on SMS
Current and planned activity: 
Traction (App)
  • Hospify’s free messaging app is live in the Apple & Google app stores with more than 4000 sign-ups across 60 hospitals since launch in Feb ’18 and 25% monthly active users.
The Hospify App is secure and compliant for health use across the UK and EU. End users can download the FREE Hospify App via the Apple and Android app stores.  

Live Trials (Hub)
  • Unison Health: paid trial at University Hospitals North Midlands. Intention to scale out nationally to >1k branches and >500k nurses
  • Birmingham Community NHS Trust: free trial
  • Cambridge & Peterborough NHS Trust: free trial
  • Lincolnshire Community NHS Trust: free trial
  • Medway Community NHS Trust: Up to 900 users for 3 months’ free trial
  • Corby NHS Health Centre (Lakeside+): 90 users for 3 months’ free trial The GP Service: telehealth company with national reach
What is the intellectual property status of your innovation?:
UK trademarks filed; EU, Colombia & US trademarks in process.
Return on Investment (£ Value): 
Very high
Return on Investment (Timescale): 
3 years +
Ease of scalability: 
Regulatory Approvals:
When designing its message delivery and information security architecture in 2015, Hospify carried out detailed discussions with the Information Commissioner’s Office about the legislative landscape around secure messaging in health. As a result, Hospify combines cutting edge technology and powerful security with careful consideration of UK and EU rules for handling patient information, and has the following accreditations:
  • GDPR & 2018 UK DPA compliant
  • NHS IG Toolkit (2017-2018) & DSPT (2019) (Org code: 8JN92)
  • Crown Commercial Service supplier (GCloud 11)
  • ISO 27001:2017 accreditation (Registration number: 214722)
  • ICO registered (ZA239336)
  • US encryption export registered (SNAP-R ERN R11191)
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Innovation 'Elevator Pitch':
Aurora Innovation Logo
The teleQ communication solution enables healthcare facilities to save money, drive productivity & increase patient care & satisfaction. Dynamic, inbuilt decision software mini-triages calls & contacts to the right person/service/department 1st time.
Overview of Innovation:
Aurora teleQ (TQ) is an advanced cloud-based communication solution for health care providers that need to stay available with high inbound call volumes.
In a busy department or clinic phones can ring continuously causing patients and staff unnecessary stress. TQ helps to address those areas that have limited resources, ensuring efficiency is maintained by getting callers directly to the person that can address their needs first time. Whether that is connecting a patient to a doctor, a ward nurse or a specialist.  
One of the key advantages of TQ’s dynamic, inbuilt decision software is that it can reroute calls to the most appropriate or next on duty person (e.g. locum doctor) without requesting the user (patient/carer) dial a new number. Therefore, reducing time and stress for caller, especially if they require emergency advice for themselves or a loved one. It can equally be used by staff needing to access consultants or specialist when there is a crisis or need. This reduces stress for clinical staff using the system.
The statistics in TQ are presented with easily accessible diagrams and provide snapshots of a department/unit’s availability and contact patterns. Based on the statistics, the department/unit can optimise its resources, so the right number of staff handle the right number of contacts at the right time. The statistics can highlight pressure points / areas where efficiencies need to be created.
The system can be integrated with electronic patient record systems and other systems gathering crucial patient info (ex. APPs), to immediately bring up patient details thus saving time and ensuring calls and contacts are structured.
TQ integrates with analogue and digital infrastructures but takes full advantage of digital and mobile communications. The importance of varied channels of communication is growing. Therefor it is essential to have a tool that brings points of communication together as more channels of communication are added to the legacy points of contact
The solution is made up of several modules, all in one interface. Provides a scalable & tailored, system for your requirements; you pay for the modules you need.
Main Modules in Aurora teleQ
  • Call back
  • Call queue
  • Duo – call back and queue
  • Response groups
  • Interactive voice menu
  • Interactive voice menu messages / extra message
  • Video
  • Chat
  • SMS
  • Email
  • Voicemail plus
Our aim is to allow you to spend more time with patients as you remove communication roadblocks.
Stage of Development:
Market ready and adopted - Fully proven, commercially deployable, market ready and already adopted in some areas (in a different region or sector)
WMAHSN priorities and themes addressed: 
Long term conditions: a whole system, person-centred approach / Wellness and prevention of illness / Wealth creation / Digital health / Innovation and adoption / Patient and medicines safety / Person centred care
Benefit to NHS:
The NHS is facing tough challenges, dealing with an increasing volume of patients and an ageing population that will lead to ques on calls and communication. A structured and automated way to manage the volume of contacts is needed. This both for patient, carer and internal contacts.
Ineffective communications leave patients and staff feeling frustrated and can create a long lasting negative perception. Communication solutions need to focus on your patient’s needs and can adapt to changes within the healthcare provider, easily and efficiently.
The TQ platform helps a caregiver to efficiently gather information from a variety of sources at the point of contact. With the on slew of self-monitoring and APPs collecting data from patients with long-term or multiple illness, an easy consolidator is needed. TQ has several solutions that are integrated and used on a daily basis, such as; fully automated patient triage, lung capacity monitoring etc.
TQ provides integration into patient facing APPs, for easy communication with patients.

Aurora teleQ (TQ) is an innovative communications solution that is designed to maximise resources, provide more efficient collaboration and decision making. Thereby providing real benefits in patient care and staff efficiencies whilst reducing operating costs and stress.
The statistics in Aurora TQ are shown as easily accessible diagrams that provide snapshots of the unit’s availability and communication patterns. Based on the statistics, the unit can optimise its resources, so the right number of staff is assigned to handle tasks. TQ provides several management reports that provide direct decision support. Providing clear information on patient communication efficiency, staffing and competency. The statistics allow for simulation of how the unit can best plan staffing and inbound and outbound call and communication times to meet variety of availability needs and measurements.

In addition to the statistics, that are integrated in to the report function, a large volume of data points can be integrated into big data decision tools. This provides an overview of point of contact in relations to the rest of the organisation, allowing for better decisions. TQ builds a model that will provide more accurate decision support over time.
Aurora TeleQ will help NHS to enhance patient care, reduce operational costs and increase staff productivity whilst reducing stress.
Initial Review Rating
5.00 (1 ratings)
Benefit to WM population:
Healthcare organisations are facing increasing financial and patient care level pressures. They require improved communications to provide exceptional service and best value to patients. Patients expect to be involved in decisions and kept informed.
Care Giver
Your telephone and text system are the gateway to your service. Staff members shouldn’t be spending time on administrative patient work, answering inappropriate calls and redirecting them than on actual patients. Aurora TeleQ (TQ) ensures a timely patient contact whilst delegating work to the contact most suited for the work. This could even mean an electronic contact for information seekers.  those who need to make contact can get through and are able to access the right help when it is needed most. TQ provides a unified communication solution that improves patient care, lowers costs and frees up the time of healthcare professionals.
Patients and relations will find communications more efficient and to the point. Less time spent trying to find information or getting to the correct contact. When communication with the Care Giver the communication will be more to the point and more informed. The quality will be perceived to be better & more efficient.
Decision support
Proficient call and communication logging enables analyses of data & provide meaningful reports about support, usage, costs, capacity & quality of service. By having these statistics at hand, you can react in real-time or identify trends, letting you make informed decisions about future resourcing & commercial needs.
Aurora consultants have a 20 years of experience in Patient communication. The intricacies of communication dynamics are part of the Aurora delivery.
The Aurora TeleQ system will provide time and cost saving. How much and how is dependent on what you want to achieve. If you are focusing on internal time saving you will find that TQ will provide a time saving of some, 1 to 15+ minutes per transaction. In addition to the time saved you will experiens a more harmonious & structured work environment that will be less stressful. Do not hesitate to see what VUmc in Netherlands has experienced
For other customer presentations please see

To assist us brining our technology to the UK we are looking for a NHS partner (more details below) we would look to them to assist and support us with validation studies and trials.
Current and planned activity: 
Aurora has 20 years of expertise in patient contact and communication. Aurora consultants work closely with health & care providers to optimize the patient flow and journey. The result is a highly satisfied patient and an effective and low stress communication strategy.
Aurora, requires a NHS developmental partner to collaborate with us to run a test installation/Pilot (free of charge). The aim is to customise the solution to match the needs of UK healthcare and the needs of the NHS Trust or partner/s.

The NHS organisation would gain the improvments in efficiency & cost savings along with increased satisfaction of patients and Staff. The pilot process would demonstate the benefits gained in Sweden & Spain whilst helping the company uncover what adaptation & modifications are needed to the system, protocols and API’s to match UK healthcare needs as well as our legal and regulatory requirements.

NHS Partner will have the opportunity to customise a solution for their specific requirements.
What is the intellectual property status of your innovation?:
All IP belongs to Aurora Innovation
Return on Investment (£ Value): 
Return on Investment (Timescale): 
0-6 mon
Ease of scalability: 
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Innovation 'Elevator Pitch':
A platform combining the best of WhatsApp, LinkedIn and Slack with an innovative, compliant architecture to provide a universal data and messaging layer for health care.
Overview of Innovation:

Out-dated and overly bureaucratic health communications are a source of enormous inefficiency and frustration for doctors, nurses and patients. 600,000 clinicians in the UK alone have turned to consumer messaging solutions like WhatsApp to solve the problem. But these solutions have been ruled inappropriate for use in health use under GDPR and sparked 1000 NHS disciplinary actions to date.


1. Unique “serverless” network architecture scales users exponentially with linearly scaling costs.
2. Free and ethical: Core functions are free for everyone, with no need to monetise sensitive data to pay for servers
3. Compliant by design: GDPR & health privacy standards built in to the architecture itself. All data stored in phone.
4. Super-simple user interface is easy to adopt and easy to use, enabling a bottom-up approach to market.


Hospify is a market-dominance play, designed to capture the majority of healthcare professionals in the UK (2.9m), EU (23m) & South America. Most users will join at least two Hubs (employer Hub, union Hub, specialism Hub, pharmaco Hub, insurance Hub).

  • Simplicity and trust of core messaging drives bottom-up adoption by nurses and care workers, led through employer and union hubs.
  • Broadcast messaging function enables replacement of both hospital pagers and costly SMS systems, driving adoption employers & CCGs.
  • Platform is built out using APIs to provide a messaging layer for other, more specialised workflow and data-driven services, allowing them to function within an ecosystem.
Stage of Development:
Close to market - Prototype near completion and final form may require additional validation/evaluation and all CE marking and regulatory requirements are in place
WMAHSN priorities and themes addressed: 
Wellness and prevention of illness / Clinical trials and evidence / Digital health / Innovation and adoption / Person centred care
Benefit to NHS:
A net budget impact of Hospify for the whole of the NHS community staff population, with a projected 51.2% uptake, has been calculated to be £166m p.a. by 2023/4. Please see the attached Budget Impact Model, constructed in collaboration with Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN, for methodology and more detailed analysis.
Initial Review Rating
4.20 (1 ratings)
Benefit to WM population:
An analysis of the impact on the WM population specifically has not yet been carried out, but the attached Budget Impact Model includes an analysis of the similarly sized Kent Surrey Sussex region, with 12,565 community healthcare staff. The impact on this regions was calculated as £10.48m p.a. by 2023/4. Again, please see the attached Budget Impact Model for more detail.
Current and planned activity: 
The free version of Hospify, available via the Apple and Android app stores, was released in February 2018 and now has around 5000 clinical users in more than 100 hospitals and clinics throughout the UK. 

The paid version of the platform, the Hospify Hub ( has been available as a live beta from April 2019 and is currently being trialled by around 20 heathcare organisations, including:
  • Birmingham Community NHS Trust
  • University Hospitals North Midland
  • Cambridge & Peterborough NHS Trust
  • Lincolnshire Community NHS Trust
  • Corby NHS Health Centre (Lakeside+)
  • The GP Service telehealth company 
  • Royal Blackburn
In addition, following two paid trials, we have an agreement in place with UNISON Health, the largest public sector health union in the country with around around 500,000 members, to begin selling Hospify to its 200+ branches once the release version of the platform goes live in September 2019.

We are also on the Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN digital health accelerator programme.
What is the intellectual property status of your innovation?:
Hospify Limited owns all IP in the Hospify platform. We have UK trademarks for name and logo in place, and EU, US and Colombian trademarks in process.
Return on Investment (£ Value): 
Very high
Return on Investment (Timescale): 
3 years +
Ease of scalability: 
Regional Scalability:
The primary region for the initial rollout of the Hospify Hub from September 2019 will be the West and North Midlands. Hospify works very closely with UNISON Regional Branch team based out of the UNISON office in Birmingham, which co-ordinates the union branches throughout this region.
From September Hospify will, with the active support of UNISON’s regional team, be selling the Hospify Hub to UNISON branches in the region and promoting the platform’s adoption among nurses and support staff who are also union members.
This will allow us to generate revenues while also building an active userbase in multiple hospitals in the region. Once we have identifiable user clusters, we will begin approaching the relevant hospital authorities, and encouraging them to approve Hospify for use at work by their clinical teams.
This approach has already proven to work at the Royal Stoke and Wye Valley, where the UNISON activity has led directly to constructive discussions with the hospital management.
Healthcare staff currently use either bleeps or phones when it comes to communication, neither of which are efficient nor particularly effective in a complex, modern healthcare environment, or indirect instant messaging solutions such as SMS or WhatsApp, which are not legally compliant with patient safety and data protection rules.

Hospify is a platform designed to allow healthcare professionals and patients to collaborate and connect using instant and trusted communication across dispersed teams and extended clinical networks and in the process:
  • Produce both time and cost savings for staff
  • Cut through a layer of administration, improving efficiency
  • Reduce reliance on SMS
  • Provide security controls without fear of transgressing EU GDPR requirements
  • Offer an easy interface for staff and patient surveys
  • Capture and store data to help improve patient outcomes by cutting unnecessary appointments and reducing adverse events.
A Budget Impact Analysis was commissioned from Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN by Hospify in order to assess, from the perspective of the healthcare system, the impact of such a communication platform both broadly in terms of costs and benefits and in a second instance, specifies to select pilot sites in a community healthcare setting. As there is no quantified evidence of Hospify working in practice within a community environment, results from external research on instant messaging systems was collected and used to show the potential outcomes.

The NICE budget impact template was used as a starting point to create a model for instant messaging systems and modified accordingly to fit the Hospify analysis. The full study and health economic framework for future studies can be found in the attached Budget Impact Analysis document. Post-funding, Hospify intends to conduct its own quantified study using this framework. The planned pilot site is currently Frimley Park NHS Trust in Surrey, but it would be possible to relocate this to the West Midlands.
Adoption target:
Hospify aims to have 30% of the 131,072 NHS staff in the West Midlands to be using the free version of the app by the end of 2023, with a higher proportion of adoption (51%) among the region’s 18,879 community healthcare staff.
Around 10% of these would be anticipated to be using the Hospify desktop app, paid for via the Hospify Hub.
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