Poster Presentation Joint Scientific Meeting of the Australian & NZ Head & Neck Cancer Society & NZ Association of Plastic Surgeons

What’s a free flap without an app? (1376)

Caitlin O'Hare 1 , Shiv Chopra 1 , Corey Williams 2 , Law King 2 , Benjamin Chalmers 1 , Milap Rughani 1
  1. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
  2. Department of Surgical and Perioperative Services , Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Brisbane, QLD, Australia


Free flap reconstruction is accepted as a gold standard in head and neck reconstruction.

Clinical audit is fundamental in healthcare systems to monitor patient outcomes, efficacy of intervention and evaluation of key performance indicators (KPI). Acquisition of accurate, relevant and real time data is key in this audit process. Globally innovation in smart devices and digital applications have transformed health informatics. However, in many hospitals there is a dichotomy between these global technological advances and collecting data for clinical audit purposes.

We present the development of a digital application that collects prospective data for the purposes of clinical audit and improving patient outcomes in Head and Neck Reconstruction.



We developed a customised digital application (Microsoft Power Apps, Office 365) compatible with android and apple platforms. The ‘app’ is integrated within our hospitals information technology network (Microsoft Sharepoint) and is secure, compliant and available for multiple users. Data is collected prospectively from time of operation and can be updated to include subsequent complications, disease pathology or further patients' interventions (surgery, adjuvant therapy or mortality). This data can produce real time audit and KPI.



We have trialled the application within our hospital setting for the last six months and collected data on 60 free flaps. We have modified the software to incorporate clinical photographs, pathology reports and complications; this can be presented to a wider audience. We aim to extend this application to enable multiple sites access across Queensland Health Network.



This technological innovation embraces accurate and relevant data acquisition in order to improve clinical audit and patient related outcomes for head and neck reconstructions.


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