Home Health Australian software aims to help reduce medical errors

Australian software aims to help reduce medical errors

Three-year-old Australian software firm XapiApps has recorded a measure of success in selling an application it has developed to a number of American hospitals, to help reduce the number of medical errors in the field.

The Learning Experience Builder software has been purchased by hospitals in Washington DC, Maryland and Nebraska and XapiApps believes that integrated checks of day-to-day performance can raise a "red flag" to identify untrained or inexperienced medical staff.

XapiApps chief executive Nick Stephenson said the software would complement observations by senior medical staff of junior practitioners.

He agreed that while processes could be monitored both by software entries and observation, the ability of an individual would be better judged by humans.

Stephenson said the recent case that came to light, of an Indian man who had used false credentials to work in hospitals for nearly 12 years, threw light on the current skills compliance systems.

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Nick Stephenson is hoping that Australian hospitals will also take up his software.

"As a nation, Australia depends on importing skilled professionals for its health system,” he said.

"This case demonstrates how it is possible for someone to slip through the cracks unless there is a rigorous, systematic approach to monitoring and measuring how people perform their daily jobs."

The XapiApps software can be used from a smartphone or a tablet and tracks how well employees perform their tasks against expectations. Any performance shortfalls are flagged for follow-up and training support by a supervisor.

The company, based in the Adelaide suburb of Stirling Hills, has a staff of seven.

Stephenson said the company had been successful in the US because the combined concerns of patient welfare and corporate compliance had led to a focus on improved staff training and its measurement.

"MedStar Health, which employs 30,000 people with 6000 affiliated physicians in the Washington DC and Maryland region, uses XapiApps software to monitor and improve how its staff respond to Code Blue emergencies, where a patient is in an acute, life-threatening condition such as a heart attack," a statement from XapiApps said.

"And Nebraska Medicine, which operates the 621 acute-care bed Nebraska Medical Centre in Omaha, uses XapiApps software to assist with coaching hundreds of its doctors."

Stephenson hopes that Australian hospitals will also look at taking up his firm's software.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.