The NHSX works to drive technological improvements within the NHS to improve the experience for NHS staff, clinicians and patients. Consequently, NHSX has just undertaken a review of technology spending across the whole NHS to determine three critical factors for the future of technology in the NHS. The three review questions are;
- What are the technology priorities?
- How can we live within our means?
- How can NHSX align with the NHS Long Term Plan and Tech Vision?
The result of the review is that one of the main priorities for the NHS is interoperability. Currently, there are many systems in use across the NHS, but that cannot communicate with each other or share data and information. This means that a patient’s journey throughout multiple medical settings could be challenging. For example, the patient may have to continually repeat their medical history, wasting time and it means that changes in medication can’t be seen by all stakeholders, such as paramedics, surgeons and the regular GP.
The issue with data that the NHS is not sharing is that it can put the lives of patients at risk. This is because many clinicians treat patients without full information.
Another priority for the NHSX is to improve systems that are currently painfully slow and wasting time for all of the already-stretched NHS staff. Similarly, the NHSX also needs to focus on improving the digital experience for patients, too, such as receiving test results or booking appointments.
From these discussions, the NHSX has created their priority delivery missions which include;
- Providing individuals with the direct access tools they need
- Allowing the information to be safely accessed throughout the NHS
- Reducing the pressures on NHS staff and clinicians
- Improving patient safety
- Enhancing digital technology to improve NHS productivity.
Digital transformation programmes
The NHS review has resulted in several different digital transformation programmes. There are currently ten in progress which include a citizen ID and NHS app, digital child health, primary care, urgent and emergency care. These will all help to determine smarter, more cost-effective ways of working that can benefit the patients and staff of the entire NHS system.