NUI Galway and the Saolta Healthcare Group are rolling out a new app to help medical students safely carry out their hospital placements in the COVID-19 crisis.
The “Clinical Pass” smartphone app requires medical students to fill out a COVID-19 registration form each day, with questions relating to their health and wellbeing.
If they answer the questions satisfactorily, students receive a digital green badge, which allows them to take part in clinical activity that day.
If they have symptoms of COVID-19, or have been in close contact with a recent confirmed case, they receive a red badge, and their placement coordinator is notified.
The app was developed by Prof Derek O’Keeffe, Consultant at UHG, along with colleagues at NUIG’s School of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences in NUI Galway and Renville Informatics.
“Clinical placement training is a critical part of healthcare student education but reintroducing students into a clinical environment with COVID-19 is challenging and has to be done in a carefully controlled manner to ensure everyone remains safe,” Prof O’Keeffe said.
“This Clinical Pass App is a powerful example of how digital health initiatives can improve patient care by ensuring that the next generation of clinicians can safely get appropriate clinical experience”.
There are approximately 1,200 medical, nursing, speech and language therapy, social work and occupational therapy students at NUIG who undertake clinical placements across Saolta hospitals in the west and northwest.
NUIG plans to welcome students back at the end of this month, with Year 1 undergraduates starting from September 25, and all other students starting back from September 28.
Tony Canavan, CEO of the Saolta Group stated, “COVID-19 is an unprecedented public health emergency. It has resulted in many restrictions that affect day to day life and our healthcare staff have been at the frontline in managing the pandemic.
“This app will help our hospitals facilitate clinical placements which are an essential part of education and training for all healthcare workers.”