A NORTH CORK doctor who developed a mobile app aimed at improving the quality of hospital discharge letters has been nominated for a prestigious literacy award.
Dr Bridget Maher from Castletownroche, a lecturer in Clinical Science and Practise at UCC's School of Medicine, has been shortlisted for a Crystal Clear MSD Health Literacy Award in recognition of her innovative CLAS mobile application.
The hospital discharge letter is key to the safe transfer of patients into the care of GPs and therefore needs to contain information that is accurate, reliable and relevant.
With this in mind, Dr Maher designed the CLAS (Cork Letter-Writing Assessment Scale) mobile application in order to teach her students how to write and improve the quality of hospital discharge letters.
The application, which earned Dr Maher a 2012 UCC President's Award, has now been nominated in the Best Project in GP Practice category in the sixth annual Health Literacy Awards.
Students can use the CLAS smartphone app to compile a 50-point checklist of relevant information as it should ideally appear on a standard hospital discharge letter.
A study involving 80 fourth-year medical students showed a significant increase in the quality of discharge letters compiled using the CLAS application when compared to students not using the system.
This has very real implications for the standard of care received by patients following their stay in hospital.
CLAS was among 130 entries received for the 2013 Health Literacy Awards from health practitioners across the country.
The award winners will be announced at ceremony taking place in Dublin on Monday, May 13.