Utilization of the iOS Shortcuts App to Generate a Surgical Logbook Tool: Feasibility Study

JMIR Perioper Med. 2021 May 13;4(1):e24644. doi: 10.2196/24644.


Background: Surgical audit is an essential aspect of modern reflective surgical practice and is key to improving surgical outcomes. The surgical logbook is an important method of data collection for both personal and unit audits; however, current electronic data collection tools, especially mobile apps, lack the minimum recommended data fields.

Objective: This feasibility study details the creation of a free, effective surgical logbook tool with the iOS Shortcuts app and investigates the time investment required to maintain a surgical logbook with this tool. In addition, we investigate the potential utility of the Shortcuts app in creating medical data collection tools.

Methods: Using the iOS Shortcuts app, we created a shortcut "Operation Note," which collects surgical logbook data by using the minimum and extended audit data sets recommended by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. We practically assessed the feasibility of the tool, assessing the time requirement for entry, accuracy, and completeness of the entered data.

Results: The shortcut collected accurate and useful data for a surgical audit. Data entry took on average 65 seconds per case for the minimum data set, and 135 seconds per case for the extended data set, with a mean difference of 68 seconds (P<.001; 95% CI 61.6-77.7).

Conclusions: This feasibility study demonstrates the utility of the iOS Shortcuts app in the creation of a surgical logbook and the time-consuming nature of data collection for surgical audit. Our iOS Operation Note shortcut is a free, rapid, and customizable alternative to currently available logbook apps and offers surgical trainees and consultants a method for recording surgical operations, complications, and demographic data.

Keywords: app; audit; data; data collection; feasibility; mHealth; medical education; surgery; surgical audit; surgical education; utility.