The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids): Pain Squad mobile app

Cundari Toronto

Advertiser: The Hospital For Sick Children (Sickkids)
Brand: The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)
Country: Canada


The Overview

The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto had a complex challenge. To help combat the pain experienced by the young patients in their pediatric cancer centre, the doctors and nurses relied on various pain reporting tools. Most of these tools involved patients filling in long-form written journals twice a day by hand. Naturally, after multiple surgeries and various treatments like radiation and chemotherapy, these patients were less than enthusiastic about the prospect of keeping a paper-based journal. In fact, most were too tired or discouraged to even hold a pen. As a result, these journals only got filled in sporadically, if at all. And all too often, when they were completed, they were being filled in by a parent or caregiver who was being dictated to by the patient. This was problematic for several reasons. Firstly, if the data was not collected daily, it couldn't be used to determine patterns of success. These consecutive days of data, or "streaks" as they are known, are vital for learning which medications are working best. The second issue was that when parents or nurses transcribed the data being given, there were serious flaws in the data being collected. Young patients often give flawed pain data verbally due to a number of factors. Perhaps they wanted to appear brave for their caregiver. Perhaps they wanted to avoid further treatment and were therefore reluctant to give truthful answers that could lead to more procedures. And perhaps they just wanted the survey to end and so they gave answers they thought would make the boring and tedious "homework" end.