MPhil/PhD Studentship - Examining the effects of using a modern digital communication platform on clinician performance & productivity

About the Project

The University of Derby has an opportunity for a full-time postgraduate research studentship in Social Science area of research.

The intended intake period is September 2022, or the next available intake.

The successful applicant will be expected to complete their MPhil within 1 year on the MPhil route, contribute to the College of Business, Law and Social Science REF submission and get involved in the wider research activities of the College. 

Applicants will become part of a friendly and welcoming team and will be supported and managed by their supervisors.


To investigate and evidence the impact of adopting a modern digital product for communication within the National Health Service (NHS), primarily within Secondary Care but potentially extending out across other adjacent, supporting organisations (including community care, ambulance services, primary care and care homes).

Project description 

Alertive have a number of customers who are in the process of onboarding users. Historically these users have relied on a combination of pagers, landline phones and consumer messaging applications (like WhatsApp) to communicate with each other and to share patient information so that they can collaborate to deliver effective care.

The purpose of the project is to deconstruct the new ways our customers are finding of working, contrasting them with past practices and measuring the impact of these changes in terms of time saved, improvement in patient throughput and other “soft” benefits experienced by healthcare workers. The purpose of the project is to assess the real-world impacts so that best practices can be shared across organisations, areas that need attention can be identified and gaps between perceived and actual benefit are clarified.

Methods employed would be a combination of quantitative and qualitative studies, with user surveys and feedback important for making sure a thorough understanding of the data is achieved.

Typically time and motion studies have been used to contrast control and new working practices, but other research methods that effectively measure impact are equally acceptable.

To find out more about Alertive.

Potential project impact

The NHS is heavily biased towards adopting new technologies that carry evidence of their impact. This study should aid the digital transformation of the NHS, giving additional Trusts the confidence to adopt a modern communication product and in the process increasing the rate at which productivity within the NHS is improved.

The potential benefits we have identified to date are included below:

  • Better productivity with less distractions from bleeps where not required or information not relevant
  • Time saved making contact with the appropriate colleague
  • Time saved following up to understand the next action or get more information
  • Time saved sourcing information from or capturing information on other systems
  • Reduce time spent on handovers & provide more continuous care
  • Improved productivity with full visibility of priorities and how current caseload is being managed
  • Relieve staffing pressures by reducing the administrative burden & enabling staff to relax when off duty
  • Avoid potential fines relating to patient care through accessing treatment history

Principal accountabilities and responsibilities

  • Create a plan for pre- & post- ways of working and measuring the impact
  • Liaising with project managers and operational leads at Alertive customers to arrange execution of this plan

To apply 

Completed applications should be submitted via our online application system quoting funding reference: BLSS_PGRS_Alertive_May22

For other enquiries which are subject-specific please contact:

Alison Lawson (

Closing dates for applications: 12.00 pm, Friday 24 June 2022

Interviews: 11 - 13 July 2022

If you have not been invited for an interview by the interview date, please assume your application has been unsuccessful.

This opportunity is part of the Productivity through Innovation (PtI) programme, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. PtI aims to encourage a culture of innovation and enables businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through utilising the knowledge, technology, and skills of the University of Derby.

More information on the programme is available here.

Apply for this BLSS studentship post

Closing date: 
Friday, June 24, 2022
Originating organisation: