The nature of the National Health Service (NHS), with a multitude of applications and devices and an array of ways in which staff interact with technology, adds significant complication to managing and enhancing the vital systems used by the organisation.
However, there is widespread agreement that the NHS must make steps to digitalise and improve technology throughout. The idea of simplifying systems and creating a user-focused approach is an important step.
An independent report, ‘Making IT work: harnessing the power of health information technology to improve care in England’, published by the government in September 2016 commented: “Many observers and stakeholders mistakenly believed that implementing health IT would be a simple matter of technical change – a straightforward process of following a recipe or a checklist. In fact, implementing health IT is one of the most complex adaptive changes in the history of healthcare, and perhaps of any industry.”
The level of complexity is huge. The NHS in a single Trust commonly manages multiple locations and vast numbers of applications to meet the needs across all departments. Adding to this, developments in devices and applications t is changing working practices and increasing reliance on technology. This development has resulted in more mobile devices requiring different levels of access. To put this in context, the NHS provisional statistics in September 2016 published the current headcount in the service to be nearing 1.18 million people. The vast majority will be IT users…an enormous task.
The solution is to focus on providing access to important systems, no matter the device, and streamlining operations. Complexity is reduced by reducing repetition and building system collaboration. Implementing solutions that bring together existing vital systems enables the NHS to have better control, from a clearer understanding of the operational performance of infrastructure, to visibility of data.
User service is another key benefit. Creating a user-centered design, does not only enhance efficiency, but also encourages better management of the data and improved access to key systems, reducing the possibility of errors. The systems in place must work for both the organisation, without forgetting the people who will be operating the applications.
Optimising systems and reducing complexity across the NHS can be achieved by integration and linking systems and access. This user-focused approach is an important step to ensure more effective staff, working practices and data.
BDS Solutions is a leading IT partner for NHS Trusts and organisations across the UK. BDS Solutions delivers reliable and efficient IT infrastructure that ensures secure access to vital NHS systems across multiple locations and devices for NHS staff.
Find out more by speaking with our expert team.