The Pain Unit at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust has launched a unique App that provides guidance and information on the management of long term pain, for both healthcare professionals and patients, whenever they need it, wherever they are.
Chronic pain is one of the main symptoms for patients suffering with neurological conditions such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, diabetic neuropathy and after many surgeries. Every year approximately 900,000 hospital bed days are taken up with the management of patients suffering with long term pain. It is known, that early and timely prescribing of analgesia contributes to better patient outcomes and could influence early discharge for those who require a hospital stay.
The new Pain App, launched November 2016, was created following feedback from patients and junior doctors, who said that although there was a plethora of useful books and websites offering information, they wanted accurate, locally relevant high quality information readily available when they needed it.
Dr Deepak Ravindran, Consultant in Anaesthesia, Pain and Musculoskeletal Medicine at the RBFT, led the development and is delighted the App is now available: “Our aim was to create a one point source of information that would be available on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. The App provides quick and easy access to information about all painkillers currently available at the Royal Berks, along with suggested regimes for many different drugs.
“It is hoped the new technology will support junior doctors and GPs, and provide confidence in starting appropriate analgesic medication for patients early. Users can be confident that the guidelines and information in the application are an accurate reflection of the advice given by the RBH pain management unit.”
Reading West MP, Mr Alok Sharma was very interested to hear about the latest development: “Living with chronic pain can be incredibly debilitating, so good pain management is crucial. The Pain Management Unit at the RBH is well known for its excellent care and forward thinking approach.
“Ultimately, of course, the best source of advice for pain management, or indeed other ailments, is a qualified healthcare professional. The App is an excellent additional resource, not only for healthcare professionals, but also for patients as an educational tool for self-management.”
Dr Ravindran added that special thanks should go to The Reading and District Fibromyalgia Support Group and the West Berkshire Neurological Alliance (WBNA), for their support and donation of a total of £1500 towards the project.
Healthcare professionals and patients can access the MicroGuide app through the App store for iOS devices or Play store for android devices, and then follow instructions to choose the correct guide for the Royal Berkshire Hospital.