Solutions from Cognuse help nurses follow instructional aids and adhere to protocols

Cognuse has a solution to support nurses in performing day-to-day procedures, thereby improving the quality of their work and reducing variability and any issues arising therefrom. The solution was tested at the CoLab Plug & Play living lab in Denmark.

Cognuse’s solution is called CoNurse and helps seamlessly integrate nursing-related instructions and procedural protocols into the workflow. Nurses have access to more than 300 procedural protocols, guidelines and checklists every time they undertake a procedure to help them remember their responsibilities.

According to Andres Mellik, founder of Cognuse, CoNurse is not a checklist tool but a system for implementing instructions. “It has been proven,” Mellik explained, “that standardisation and compliance with evidence-based guidelines have a positive impact on patient safety as well as the reduction of unwanted deviations and variations. Our solution is perfect for the learning process and offers valuable support primarily to nurses who have less experience. At the same time, CoNurse is useful for experienced healthcare professionals who perform certain procedures rarely.”

The current coronavirus crisis has raised interest in the solution because of the great need for additional healthcare resources. CoNurse is giving nurses the opportunity to quickly familiarise themselves with the subject.

Guidelines and protocols become conveniently available

In hospitals, manuals and protocols are available in large catalogues, where information is thorough and evidence-based, but these are bulky and difficult to consume.

The daily use of instructions is boosted if the instructions are remotely accessible the moment the nurse has to attend to the patient.

The solution is coupled with a Bluetooth headset for hands-free operation to mitigate the risk of infection and comply with the hospital’s quality goals.

In addition, the solution allows hospitals to use their own specific guidelines, for example, if the same procedure differs within hospital departments for some reason.

Testing in the living lab

Mellik says that making changes in the work processes used in a hospital is always a challenge, but Cognuse’s solution has been used in a pilot project at the North Estonia Medical Centre, which was Cognuse’s partner in a joint development project funded by ECHC, as well as the West Tallinn Central Hospital, East Tallinn Central Hospital and Tartu University Hospital.

“For us,” Mellik says, “testing in the CoLab Plug & Play living lab was the first performance test outside of Estonia. The solution was tested by two nurses from the acute unit at the Hospital of Southern Jutland. Normally the nurses do not use audio guides; instead, they carry a booklet in their pockets which includes guidelines for the most common procedures. The tested scenario was the Glasgow Coma scale. With instructions from Cognuse representatives, the nurses followed the guide on a tablet and performed the procedures on a mannequin. After the test, the nurses shared their experiences with CoNurse. We received good feedback as well as an overview of the Danish system, which helped to assess whether this would be a market we want to enter.”

An agreement to use the tool has also been reached with the first hospital in Germany and negotiations are underway to involve hospitals in the United Kingdom and the USA, where Cognuse has been operating for the last six years.

“COVID-19 has increased hospitals’ interest in the solution,” says Mellik. For example, there has been interest from the NHS in the UK, and Northern Ireland is working to provide Cognuse’s solutions to support patients with chronic pain.