COMPASS has been developed using a thorough R&D process outlined in this diagram.  Further to it’s original design it has been further developed for real world use with our partners Fr3dom Limited, specialist medical technology developers.  The application is hosted and managed by Pro-Mapp Limited, as part of their PRO-QUOL set of clinical tools.

Feasibility study of COMPASS in Acute Stroke Setting

3 acute stroke units (RVI, Wansbeck and North Tyneside General Hospitals)

  • Clinicians said...

    Patient-specific decision making

    “Able to look at the charts and say yes we should do this or … confirming your no”

    Enhanced communication of treatment benefit and risk to patients/relatives

    “feel comfortable saying actually five more people would benefit, there’s no change in risk of death”

    Improved support to clinical governance

    “Importance of documenting a very high quality conversation …. this is an important piece of managing the patient in that very difficult time”

    Potential as a clinical training aid

  • Patients / Relatives said...

    Graphical risk presentations enhanced comprehension of benefits and risks of treatment:

    “It gave me a visual sort of explanation of it which I couldn’t have taken in mentally, not at that time”

    “you can compare the pictures alongside each other rather than somebody saying you know well 20% this and 25% that green’s for go you know… me, is a positive thing”

    Valued a paper copy to keep

    “I was able to just reflect and say okay I’ve done the right thing for my wife”


The COMPASS team reviewed 26 currently available decision support, patient information and risk communication tools for thrombolysis in acute stroke.

  • NONE had a comprehensive development process.

  • All had sub-optimal testing in clinical settings.

  • All failed to convey balanced synopsis of benefit / risk.


BMC Health Services Research: Flynn et al View Paper

The led directly to a thorough development process.


Murtagh MJ, Burges Watson DL, Jenkings KN, Lie MLS, Mackintosh JE, Ford, GA, Thomson RG. Situationally-sensitive knowledge translation and relational decision making in hyperacute stroke: a qualitative study. PLoS ONE 2012, 7(6): e37066.

Flynn D, Ford GA, Stobbart L, Rodgers H, Murtagh MJ, Thomson RG. A review of decision support, risk communication and patient information tools for thrombolytic treatment in acute stroke: lessons for tool developers. BMC Health Services Research, 2013; 13:225.

McMeekin P, Flynn D, Ford GA, Rodgers H, Thomson RG Validating the Stroke-Thrombolytic Predictive Instrument in a Population in the United Kingdom. Stroke. 2012 43(12):3378-81

McMeekin P, Flynn D, Ford GA, Rodgers H, Thomson RG. Development of a decision analytic model (DAM) to support decision-making and risk communication for thrombolytic treatment in acute stroke care. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2015, 15:90  doi:10.1186/s12911-015-0213-z

Flynn D, Nesbitt D, Ford GA, McMeekin P, Rodgers H, Price C, Kray C, Thomson RG. Development of a computerised decision aid for thrombolysis in acute stroke care. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2015, 15:6  doi:10.1186/s12911-014-0127-1


COMPASS has been well received at numerous events during which time algorithms have continued to be refined until launch in 2017.

ScienceFest, Newcastle University, 15th March 2011.

NIHR Stroke Research Network Annual Meeting, 26 – 27 September 2011; Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne

6th UK Stroke Forum Conference, Ideas Fair, 29th November to 1st December 2011; SECC, Glasgow

Patient and Public Engagement: Improving the Impact of Teaching, Learning and Research, King’s Road Centre, Newcastle University, 26th October 2011.

North East SDM Community of Interest Conference (Delivering 21st Century Healthcare: Promoting patient-professional partnerships through shared decision making), 19th October 2011, The Durham Centre

European Stroke Conference (ESC) 2011

International Shared Decision Making (ISDM) conference, 2011

British Association of Stroke Physicians Annual Meeting, 2011

Acute CSG Meeting, 2011

5th NIHR Stroke Research Network Annual Meeting

6th NIHR Stroke Research Network Annual Meeting

Ideas Fair – UK Stroke Forum, 2011

Newcastle Science City, 2011

North East Stroke Research Network Meeting 2012

North East Shared Decision Making Community of Interest Conference, 2011

Press coverage in 2012

Department of Health – Maps and Apps event, 2012

Opening Doors and Opening Minds in Patient and Public Engagement, Great North Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2012

7th International Shared Decision Making Conference: globalizing shared decision making. June 16-19 2013, Lima, Perú

The International Society for Quality in Health Care 30th International Conference – 13th to 16th October 2013, Edinburgh, Scotland

NHS England and Health Foundation Engagement Meeting. Fenwick Room, Castle Leazes, Newcastle upon Tyne, 14th February 2014

Northern Clinical Networks and Newcastle University event on Shared Decision Making. Millennium Suite, Waterfront 4, Newburn Riverside, Newcastle upon Tyne, 23rd January 2014.

7th International Shared Decision Making (ISDM) Conference and the 4th International Society for Evidence-Based Health Care (ISEHC) Conference, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia – 19th July to 22nd July 2015

Keele University. Postgraduate Medicine, Department of Stroke Medicine, Royal Stoke University Hospital, 12th Aug 2015

COMPASS is hosted and managed by Pro-Quol, part of the Pro-Mapp Group.