A pilot scheme in which hospital staff use a mobile phone app to manage “patient flow” is being used in an A&E department.

Northwick Park Hospital began trialling the month-long “hail a porter” scheme in late October in which Apple devices are used to exchange up-to-the-minute patient information between staff.

The app, which could soon replace a two-page request form, is expected to reduce staff follow up time on portering requests as well as giving porters up-to-date details on patients they are collecting.

A&E staff will be provided with iPhones with the Infinity Health e-portering mobile application pre-loaded, and iPad portering stations in various areas across the department will make sure staff without access to one of the iPhones can still book a porter.

More than 400 clinical and non-clinical staff will be involved in the pilot, including more than 60 porters.

Porter Berekey Tesfay with A&E consultant Miriam Harris

Lead consultant for emergency medicine, doctor Miriam Harris, said: “This is a positive step towards helping us manage patient flow. The hospital is very busy and demand on portering services is always high.

“The app will help reduce the amount of time taken to request a porter or the need to chase requests up. It also allows us to add special instructions for the porter, such as the need to carry patient records, oxygen, or support equipment.”

The app will also allow staff to see in real time when a patient has been collected and arrives at their destination.

Sonia Patel, chief information officer, added: “The collaboration with Infinity Health demonstrates how working with the right partners and technology helps resolve everyday issues and genuinely improves the daily working lives of our staff and ultimately improve patient care.”

If successful the pilot will be rolled out across Northwick Park, Ealing and Central Middlesex hospitals.