The focus is on patient safety as the app is developed to help young medical professionals on the go


Junior doctors can now use the MySkills Medic app to find the latest protocols.

Patient safety can be a big concern for both loved ones of a hospitalized person and medical staff.

An app is now available to track patient safety while in hospital. As part of a partnership between BD (Becton Dickinson), a medical technology company, and MySkills Consortium, an app has been developed for healthcare professionals.

MySkills Consortium is a social accountability collaboration of public sector clinicians, medical students and academic staff at South African universities. The universities involved are the universities of Cape Town, Witwatersrand, Free State and Stellenbosch.

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The MySkills Medic safety app was developed to improve patient and healthcare worker safety. This is a clinical procedural skills guide for graduate medical students, interns, and community service physicians where they need it most: at the bedside.

How it works?

The app provides guidelines for procedural skills commonly performed by physicians and other healthcare workers at the bedside. By going mobile, this content is available 24/7, to train students in the skills lab, to support newly graduated trainees at the bedside, or to educate experienced practitioners on the latest protocols.

Content includes the following:

  • Updated protocols for bedside procedures commonly performed by junior physicians
  • Troubleshooting tips from experienced clinicians
  • Patient Information and Consent – a unique feature with suggestions on what information patients need to know about their procedures

Professor Mathys Labuschagne of the University of the Free State says their initiative aims to share knowledge at all levels.

“Through this collaboration, we aim to create a scalable platform where we can continue to share knowledge and work towards consensus approaches in health science education,” he says.

Ian Wakefield, Managing Director of BD Africa, says compliance with accreditations, certifications and the introduction of relevant technological solutions also helps to improve safety and therefore the overall quality of healthcare.

“Patient safety is a core part of BD’s mandate to create a safe environment for healthcare workers and patients. We research and develop medical technologies that help reduce medication errors, support healthcare workers and benefit their patients. We are proud to be part of the MySkills app initiative – it is a giant step towards making quality information available to health workers across South Africa,” says Ian.

According to the World Health Organization, unsafe practices and medication errors are a leading cause of preventable injury and harm in healthcare delivery.

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Dr Rachel Weiss, director of the Clinical Skills Center at UCT, says it starts with creating a culture of safety.

“Awareness and commitment to safe practice is an attitude that must be instilled early in medical training and maintained throughout clinical service.”

She adds that while Covid-19 has been front and center for the past two years, preventing infections and other injuries to patients and healthcare workers should be a daily priority. There is an entire application section that covers asepsis and aseptic technique, donning, hand hygiene, PPE and transmission-based precautions, rubbing and donning, objects sharp edges, splash injuries and medical waste management.

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