Skip to main content

Dr Alan Whitelaw

Consultant Emergency Medicine, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

The last few months have been the toughest I have ever known in the NHS. Working on the frontline in Scotland’s busiest Emergency Department, in its biggest hospital, has been a massive challenge over this winter. Finding positivity can be difficult in this environment.

Step forward the Trauma App. As the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital unveiled its new Major Trauma Centre signs, the Emergency Department team began using the newly developed Trauma App for the patients arriving from all over the region. As part of the development team, it was a nervous, but exciting point. Something we had first discussed a few years ago in the very resus room would now be used. This was a project that the team had invested such a lot of time and energy into and the Trauma App was now being incorporated into our clinical armoury. How would the clinicians on the ground feel when using the app? Would there be teething problems?

Any initial concerns vanished very quickly. Sure there were some staff who shied away from the new batch of iPads being wheeled around the resus room, but the vast majority of our nurses and doctors were intrigued. Let’s put the paper away and use the iPad.

  • “Have you seen this new Trauma App?”
  • “It’s actually really good.”
  • “It’s really easy to use.”
  • “Things are just right there.”

Again, and again, the feedback was positive.

Fairly hilariously for me personally it became evident really quickly that very few of the team knew I had been involved in developing the app, so again and again nurses or doctors in training were introducing me to something I had helped envisage and develop. They were doing so in a positive, enthusiastic way; they were immediately on board and the role of scribe in a trauma case took on a new kudos. An enthusiasm to use the app was evident.

Sure, there were wrinkles to iron out, feedback to consider and changes to be made. It’s a product in evolution, but a product that has been embraced and has already improved documentation in trauma cases in our centre.