A smartphone app that offers on the spot and up-to-date antibiotic prescribing advice to hospital doctors has won the infection control category in the annual NHS Innovation Challenge Awards.
The MicroGuide app was developed by consultant pharmacist Kieran Hand, who is part of the antimicrobial stewardship team at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.
MicroGuide, described as “an interactive library of microbiology expertise”, replaces traditional paper pocket guides that can quickly become out of date.
The app can be updated in real time with national and trust-specific guidelines and suggests alternative treatment options for patients with antibiotic resistant infections.
Since the app was introduced there has been a fall in the prescribing of high-risk broad spectrum antibiotics from 40% to 28% and the number of monthly Clostridium difficile infections has fallen from 60 to fewer than 10, according to NHS England, which runs the awards.
Another smartphone app was also recognised in the awards.
NeoMate, developed by the London Neonatal Transfer Service, offers decision support to paediatric junior doctors and nurses. It also helps them with complex drug calculations and combinations.
NeoMate was one of five winners in the award’s acorn category, which is devoted to recognising ideas that have the potential to make a big difference to patients.
The 2014/2015 NHS Innovation Challenge Awards attracted 340 applicants chasing prizes in seven challenge categories.