When Beth Wozniak saw nurses rushing to collect equipment for operations at the last minute she knew there had to be a better way.
The Duns Creek registered nurse has created a digital system that allows hospital staff to easily locate and collect every implement they need to perform an operation.
The software, called ScrubIT, is already being used at Maitland Private Hospital and is expected to be rolled out to other hospitals across Australia in the next year.
“I was consistently finding that the set ups for surgery were missing items, or the set ups weren’t complete, which meant staff members would have to run from the operating theatre in the middle of a case to go and grab the instruments that were needed to safely complete the surgery,” Ms Wozniak said.
Ms Wozniak enlisted the help of software designer Lloyd Davies and technical expert Paul Fisher to make the project possible. Now she has her sights on spreading the program across the world.
“This isn’t just happening in Maitland or Newcastle, it’s happening in hospitals everywhere,” she said.
“It costs hospitals a lot of money because instruments are being opened and wasted because they are incorrect, and they have to be thrown away.”
The app gives staff access to the entire list of instruments needed with one click.
It also tells them where each piece is located, what it looks like and which patient needs it.
Staff can easily tick off the items and order missing equipment.
“Anyone could walk in and do a set up,” Ms Wozniak said.
“It means surgeries run on time, there’s less wastage and it’s more convenient.”
Staff at hospitals without the app use a word document to collect instruments and have to write notes to order anything that is missing.
“I was blown away to think that in this day and age they are still using word documents to gather such important crucial equipment,” Ms Wozniak said.
“This is a really inefficient process, it takes a lot of time and effort to gather the equipment – sometimes there are hundreds of items.”