Digitalisation in the NHS

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Digitalisation in the NHS

Every day, modern life undergoes radical change thanks to innovative technology. Digitalisation is the core component of our future working landscape. The Covid-19 pandemic has been one of the main driving forces behind many sectors confronting digitalisation, then adopting it at pace. The NHS was no exception, becoming more reliant than ever on digital processes to initiate efficiencies amid a global crisis. We could no longer imagine a healthcare system without it.

Now or never

While the pandemic put considerable strain on the NHS in many areas, it also brought to the forefront of leaders’ minds the importance of digital maturity. It felt rather ‘now or never’; patients needed managing in record capacities, staff redeployed, and services heavily re-methodised.

Historically, the NHS’s ability to implement technological changes has been slow and fragmented. Considering the service has around 68 million members of the public on its radar and employs just under 1.5 million staff, it’s certainly no mean feat. Yet the pandemic drove home the imperative reality that the healthcare system had to prioritise digital implementations.

A more coordinated approach to care

To the public, the procurement of the Covid-19 app was arguably the first major milestone of the ‘modern’ NHS. To staff, the increasing use of tech to better manage site-wide tasks, from room and appointment booking to vaccination management, are opening the doors to more effective ways of working.

To drive digital change that is robust for the long term, investment in technologies and in continuous improvement is essential. In his recent Conservative Party Conference speech, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the focus for the NHS’s digital trajectory: a more constant, coordinated approach with improved patient care at the core.

To achieve an improved and more targeted patient care, the system must undergo a radicalisation. When digital and tech worlds collide with healthcare, processes become more intelligent. Digital helps us to keep up with, and adapt to, ever-changing needs. Antiquated, paper-based methods become redundant, replaced by faster, more streamlined alternatives.

The Long Term Plan

In its ‘ambitious but realistic’ Long Term Plan, the NHS strives to move forwards with digital. In ten years’ time, the aim is a service ‘fit for the future’. It’s been widely recognised that if health and care staff are given the right technology at the right time, tasks can be completed more quickly, freeing up valuable time to unlock other efficiencies.

With a hope to offer a ‘digital first’ option for the public it serves, the future of healthcare will be ever-adaptable. Digital tools, like wearable IoT devices that monitor physiology, will be encouraged to help the public to manage their own health, lessening some of the pressure on the NHS.

The scope of benefits that fully digitising the healthcare system brings is vast, with endless opportunities to improve productivity and optimise processes. TAAP’s no/low-code solution has already been rolled out across a range of NHS trusts, assisting with a wide-range of processes. Its agile nature has been proven to coordinate operational excellence, from refining transport operations to speedily managing the successful vaccination programme for a trust with just under 14k staff. In less than ten days from start to finish…

Whole-system visibility

The TAAP platform’s ability to rapidly create solutions is helping Trust’s work towards gaining whole-system visibility over patient flow and capacity. This ensures that patient pathways are being managed effectively and operating to standard in line with relevant legislation and Trust KPIs.

What’s more, healthcare providers must now provide patients with a choice between digital or print communication post-appointment. Digitising these interactions is faster and more secure than the manual alternative. The TAAP platform lets professionals track and audit patient-clinician communication, whilst easily integrating with patient record systems for overall dexterity.

For the NHS to fully embrace digitalisation, we need the public on-board. And to do that, we need their trust. We need them to experience the efficiencies of a digital healthcare system, from ease of electronic appointment booking to smoother transport to health services. The signs are there that they’re just as ready as medical professionals, too; more than one million users downloaded the Covid-19 app in the first day of its release. There’s never been a more appropriate time to digitise the NHS.

Find out more about TAAP’s solutions for the healthcare sector!