Technology innovation is constantly challenging how the NHS approaches tasks and how IT can support the organisation. This digital disruption can lead to a quick and reactive response, which is short-sighted. Managing digital disruption with a long-term view in mind, ensures that NHS IT funds are spent as part of a wider proactive programme that is essential for innovation to enhance NHS operations.
Forward looking healthcare innovation
Digital innovation has provided significant benefits to the NHS, enhancing the service that it can provide to patients. The departmentalised nature of the NHS has meant traditionally innovation has been driven by individual teams and adopted as required.
In recent years, Trust-wide, and in some areas multiple Trust-wide, digital transformation has gained momentum as IT enhancements have been proven to increase efficiency, safety and job satisfaction.
Although many have started these transformations, most still overlook the role and the impact of innovation in these programmes. Many NHS organisations provide a reactive approach to dealing with innovation. Research house Gartner, in their insights report entitled: ‘Best practices in Managing Digital Disruption as Part of an Innovation Program’ discuss how innovation and transformation must be aligned and efforts should be run in parallel.
Gartner states: “If one views innovation and transformation in a virtuous cycle, then they are supportive of one another.” When digital disruption is added into this mix, whether caused as a result of innovation or because there is a need for innovation, transformations can then fail – a costly outcome that the NHS does not need.
Long-term NHS digital plan
Managing innovation is often overlooked as part of the IT strategy. BDS Solutions considers potential and future technologies as a crucial part of any NHS IT strategy and builds solutions that can adapt and cope with the changing environment.
If we think back over the years, innovation in the NHS to overcome obstacles or disruption caused by innovation has resulted in some game-changing transformations for the healthcare sector. Mobile working and access to vital systems has fundamentally changed the satisfaction of NHS staff, as well as the patient service.
Without incorporating digital changes, the NHS will fall behind. However, these should not be done on a whim and should form part of a larger, longer-term plan. This plan will minimise misguided investments and ensure the NHS takes a more considered approach to IT infrastructure change.
A proactive approach to managing digital disruption is the only way to ensure investment is made in the right areas. This should be a permanent, ongoing part of the NHS IT plan as the rate of digital disruptions will only rise.
Gartner states: “As the pace of discovery of new disruptions continues to increase, the ability to know where to focus investments and time must also increase. Unfortunately, CIOs and business executives are often surprised by, and sometimes willfully ignorant of, disruptions rather than prepared for them.”
Digital disruption is often low on the priority list in the NHS, but it should be a core consideration. Without a long-term view on how to manage the impact of innovation on the NHS, any digital transformation being implemented will likely fail or not fulfil its intended objective.
BDS Solutions is a leading NHS technology partner with 20 years’ experience helping organisations manage their IT infrastructure and maximise the potential of digital technologies. Contact us today for more information on how we can protect and support your organisation.