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Managing a surgical unit using google drive - a feasibility study

Ashley Solomon C., Sri Vengadesh Gopal.

Abstract
Background: Managing a surgical unit can be a daunting task. Being a consultant in a teaching hospital only adds to the challenge. One of the main challenges in running a unit is to have an effective channel of communication between the various members of the surgical team. Many medical errors have their origin in the lapse of communication. We are living in the era of telecommunication explosion where we have access to innumerable instruments of communications, all converged into a single device - “The Smart phone”. In this article we present the various challenges that are faced by a surgical unit and how a simple free to use software can be used to overcome some of those challenges.
Methods: Electronic patient management software was created with the google drive software which is free to use. It was used to prepare various documents involved in the management of a surgical unit such as operation theatre list, Operation notes, Discharge summary and the team members were given a questionnaire regarding the ease of use of the software. The average time taken and the data usage for each of the activities were calculated.
Results: A total of 30 residents and interns who worked in the unit during the study period answered the questionnaire. All the members of the team adapted favourably to this system. The cost involved and the data usage are minimal.
Conclusions: It is feasible to use google drive as a patient management system by a surgical unit to organise work. This system is efficient, secure and cost effective.

Key words: Electronic medical record, Google drive, Smart phone



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