Healthcare Shorts: Nurse Handoff & Rounding App
Published Jul 06 2022 01:44 PM 1,625 Views

Story Background


This app was inspired by the Nurse Hack for Health (, a hackathon that had over 900 participants, including 700 nurses. Organized into 30 teams that included technologists and healthcare enthusiasts, each team developed and pitched an idea of how they could use technology to improve their ability to deliver care to patients.


Having worked with many of these teams, several themes emerged as recurring pain points for nurses:

  1. Improving handoffs from nurse to nurse
  2. Round from anywhere, either physical or virtual
  3. Know where the needed equipment is
  4. Coordinate care


Business Challenge 


  1. Improve handoffs: nurses often struggle with handing off their patients to the next (receiving) nurse on duty. Nurses have said during the hack that finding the most important information about each patient requires tracking down sticky notes, pouring through the Electrinic Medical Record (EMR), calling the previous nurse, or quizzing the patient. It makes seamless continuity of care a challenge, and EMRs have not helped at all because of how much information is located there that may not relate to the nurse’s specific task.
  2. Round from anywhere: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual rounding has become increasingly common at hospitals. In some cases, it involves connecting to patients who are quanantined, either in the hospital or at home, or in other cases it is the nurse who is remote. How can nurses maintain effective continuity of care under these circumstances?
  3. Know where everything is: Nurses spend up to 20 minutes per patient per shift locating basic things like the equipment needed to effectively treat the patient based upon their diagnosis and status. Over the course of a day, up to three hours of that time is spent simply looking for stuff. How can we shift more of that time to patient-facing care?
  4. Coordinate care: COVID-19 tends to make preexisting illnesses worse, and preexisting illinesses tend to make COVID-19 symptoms worse. With the exacerbation of multiple conditions complicating care, coordinating efforts across multiple specialities has become especially important. How can nurses do more to coordinate the complex needs of a patient?


Business Outcomes 


This solution will help with all challenges listed above such as: 

  1. Improving handoffs from nurse to nurse
  2. Round from anywhere, either physical or virtual
  3. Know where the needed equipment is
  4. Coordinate care

As a secondary business outcome, we found that nurses were happier after implementing this solution as they had more time to focus on their patients, spent less time documenting and creating shift notes so they were able to socialize with their peers more and end their shift closer to the actual shift end time. 


Solution Overview 


Omniround is a Power App with an integrated Power BI dashboard that can work either standalone or integrated with Microsoft Teams. It allows nurses to more effectively round, either physically or virtually, with the most important information about each patient - their current state, their care team, the required equipment and its location, and their needs - readily available. Embedded insights can provide important guidance and allow nurses to ask questions about the patient’s medical history in natural language.

Envisioned Technical Components. 


Recommended equipment is located using a combination of tracking technology such as RFID, intelligent cameras, and beacons/readers through IoT Central’s smart inventory capabilities. Recommendations are made by Azure Cognitive Services or Azure ML depending upon the complexity. By tying in IoMT data from medical devices and EMR data via the FHIR connector and Healthcare Accelerator, the app’s AI capabilities can visualize trends in the embedded Power BI dashboard and make insights to help the nurse determine the best course of action, and use Power BI Q&A Explorer to get answers to questions about the connected data. Nurses on-call can record video notes within the Power App to pass to the next receiving nurse for an easy huddle transfer, and the receiving nurse can connect to the on-call care team as needed via Microsoft Teams.



Thanks for reading, Shelly Avery |EmailLinkedIn 

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‎Jul 06 2022 01:44 PM
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