A nurse talking with an elderly patient in a hospital bed

Led by Professor Ara Darzi, this theme is working to create safer systems for patients as they move along the care pathway.

When patients transition from one care setting to another – such as from their GP surgery to hospital – there’s a risk that miscommunication between health systems can lead to mistakes that threaten their safety.

We’re developing and evaluating ways to make this process safer. We work across every level of healthcare to ensure our research has the greatest potential for impact. From digital apps and training programmes to national guidelines, we’re influencing the individual, the team, and the system as a whole.

Our work

Driving improvements across the care continuum requires two things: first, promoting behaviour changes that lead to safer care practices, and second, using human factors to design better pathways and processes. Find out how our work in both of these areas is making a difference to patients and professionals alike. 

An app to make hospitals safer

We helped develop Streams, a mobile app for medical information and alerting. Streams stores important patient data, like blood test results, in one easy-to-access place so that professionals have the information they need to act quickly should problems arise. Early studies showed how Streams leads to more efficient responses than traditional pager systems. 

Now, as part of an HDR UK-funded study involving more than 10,000 staff, we’re evaluating Streams as it’s trialled across the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. We’re looking at whether the app can reduce the length of time it takes for patients to receive treatment, compared with standard care. With more rapid responses, Streams could lead to better outcomes for patients and improve their care.

Helping patients and professionals communicate better

We’re harnessing the power of digital technology to help improve the transfer of information as patients transition through care systems. We’re developing a user-centred tool that enables patients to better understand and communicate their medical history with healthcare professionals during this process. We’re developing this patient-facing programme in a co-produced way, working with our target users in every stage of the design, to ensure that it’s tailored to their needs.

Hear from Kelsey Flott, Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Global Health Innovation, to find out more about our work: 

Introducing our Patient Safety Translational Research Centre

Manager of our Patient Safety Translational Research Centre, Kelsey Flott, talks about why the Centre exists in the first place, and what we're doing to improve the safety and quality of healthcare for patients and professionals alike.