Digital transformation without limits - Newsletter 2

Digital transformation without limits - Newsletter 2

Tara Donnelly reflects on the progress of the NHS App so far and considers what the future may hold

In January 2019, The NHS Long Term plan  launched - and put digitally-enabled care centre stage. We know that digital technology has incredible potential to transform the health and care services we provide for the better: enhancing the provision, personalisation and efficient delivery of care. 

The NHS App will be a fundamental part of delivering this. The App is the digital front door into the NHS for those who wish to use it, providing a simple and secure way for people to access a range of NHS services on their smartphone, tablet or PC.

The NHS App creates a universal offer to people across England, providing:

  • Symptom checking
  • Access to online 111
  • Appointment booking and changing
  • Repeat prescriptions
  • Access to primary care summary care record
  • Organ donation and preferences
  • National Data Opt-Out preferences 
     

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A DUTCH PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE SCIENCES & HEALTH

The Netherlands is home to a vibrant, thriving Life Science & Health cluster of more than 2,500 healthcare companies and research organisations, all within a 200 kilometre radius. The Netherlands is considered to be the most concentrated region in the world when it comes to creating economic and social value to healthcare.

Dutch health care is of high quality and accessible and affordable for all. It is no wonder that many countries point to the Netherlands as an example of how the quality of health care can be guaranteed while the costs can be maintained at a reasonable level. In terms of the future, the Netherlands is embracing eHealth (telemedicine, online therapy and prevention).

Shared challenges, smart solutions

This year at the Health + Care show, the “Holland Health Innovation Theatre” will showcase presentations from Dutch companies who are enhancing healthcare through innovation. These products and services help answer the shared challenges of our time: demographic ageing, the increased prevalence of chronic diseases, unhealthy lifestyles and increasing health expenditure.  

To succeed in tackling shared challenges, Dutch organisations are looking to share knowledge and cooperate with British partners to improve healthcare globally.  The varied programme will feature a number of main themes These are:

- Digital Health incl. apps and wearables

- Healthy Aging & Assisted living

- Chronic Health & Telehealth

- Prevention

Please visit the Holland Health Innovation Theatre on stand K60 to hear about how proven innovations can be used in the British Healthcare market, learn about new products and find new business partners to expand into the European market.  For more information, email the organisers at info@nbso-manchester.co.uk

NEW GUIDANCE: MEDICINES INFORMATION GUIDANCE TO IMPROVE SAFETY ACROSS HEALTH AND CARE

We’ve now published new guidance to enable the digital sharing of medications information between care settings, which will help improve patient care and reduce medication errors across the NHS and social care.

Research estimates that there are 237 million medication errors in the UK each year and as many as five deaths each day from errors in prescribing, dispensing or monitoring medications use. Many of them occur when information is transferred on paper because critical prescribing information can’t be shared from one computer system to another.

PRSB has worked with NHS England and NHS Digital to produce clear guidance for recording and sharing standardised computer-readable information between hospital, GP and community-based services. This will vastly reduce the current practice of sharing paper-based medicines information and re-keying it into computers which can lead to errors.

This will improve patient safety, increase efficient use of clinicians’ time and reduce medicines wastage.  The guidance will also help hospitals integrate electronic prescribing systems and pharmacy stock control which also will reduce waste and inefficiency.

At the moment, hospitals, GPs and other community-based services use different methods of prescribing so that when a patient transfers from one setting to another, clinicians need to  manually translate prescribing information to ensure the correct medicines, dosages and timings are identified and administered. Previous attempts to standardise and computerise this information failed because of the complexity and variety of prescribing methods, doses, timings and instructions.

Dose information has now been standardised for the most common uses. There is also guidance available for handling more complex cases. It sets out rules for translating medicines information between the different prescribing methods used in different care settings.  The solution will support digital sharing of medications information, with clinicians still deciding when to use or record the information. The guidance covers the majority of prescriptions, approximately 90%, with a few complex exceptions.

PRSB was asked to undertake a consultation with clinicians, professionals and people who will be using the standardised guidance to test whether it is safe, workable and would gain widespread support and acceptance.  PRSB’s report, digital medication information guidance, is available here. 

“Improving medicines information sharing by computerising processes and replacing paper-based ones that were prone to errors is a significant achievement. Thanks to the combined efforts of NHS England, NHS Digital and the PRSB, prescribing for patients should be safer, more efficient and fewer medicines will be wasted,” said Professor Maureen Baker, chair of the PRSB.

“The benefits to patients and the system are significant and for this reason, this project has been identified as the top priority of the NHS England interoperability programme, “ said Dr Simon Eccles, Chief Clinical Information Officer, NHS England. “Health and care providers should prioritise implementing this guidance urgently.”

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY FOR SOCIAL CARE 

Socitm Inform and Socitm Advisory are publishing a new report that presents an independent review of the current and emerging assistive technology market within social care. The report looks at the emerging role of consumer electronics in supporting care and independent living.  It also offers a unique model for classifying and analysing a range of related commercial models for assistive technology deployment.

The report is designed to inform those involved in the development of Health & Wellbeing and local authority care technology strategies and associated procurement planning. It forms part of a continuing programme of Socitm research on priority policy themes across health and wellbeing. The original content for the report was commissioned by Essex County Council (ECC) in early 2019.

The primary focus of Socitm’s programme is to enable the ‘left shift’ of intervention in people’s health and wellbeing from the relatively expensive, acute end of the system to an earlier point grounded in community and place, and with citizens themselves. The programme will explore how taking a fresh look at the wider determinants of people’s wellbeing can enable the public sector in totality - housing authorities, leisure providers, environmental management, education, police, public health, care organisations and health providers - to refocus its efforts on addressing the often entrenched and endemic problems in our communities. This will provide the context for us to examine how digital technologies and better use of data can help deliver this transformation in collaboration with people in their diverse settings.

Specifically, we aim to:

  • Identify and capture good use cases, where digital and information are enabling citizens to live independently and self-care, avoiding entry into the care systems, and to be better informed about conditions, thereby preventing illness, enabling faster discharge and out of hospital care,
  • Consider methods such as Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) that can be better enabled by digital and information, connecting people and communities together to become more resilient and caring for each other.
  • Champion ‘frugal innovation’ in this area i.e. how emerging technologies, data analytics, digital literacy and so forth can be a significant enabler to better health and wellbeing.
  • Where services have to be provided, capture use cases where they are done through new integrated teams, across organisations including the independent sector, enabled through common, open governance frameworks and integrated technologies.
  • Capture use cases where data is combined, across different sources and organisations, for secondary uses such as “population health management” to inform more targeted interventions and commissions that make better use of the limited budgets available.
  • Consider a strong push for Open Platform approaches to Digital Health to challenge the current industry incumbents, who provide systems where the data is locked in and not available for analysis or for others to develop new innovations on as detailed above. (Note: The open platform approach is relevant to all verticals in government.)
  • Set out our policy position on this and work with NHS Digital, NHS England, NHS-X and the Devolved Nations to progress it, as well as utilising the Learning from Local Programme to help support it.
     

Anyone that would like a copy of the Report should email russ.charlesworth@socitm.net.

Sam Smith

Socitm Vice President, Head of IT & Digital for 3C ICT, Strategic IT Lead for Shared Services Cambridgeshire County Council & Peterborough City

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26-27 June 2019 | ExCeL London