Unlocking the latent power of the NHS

By on 20/11/2018 | Updated on 20/11/2018

The NHS is a collection of excellent professionals, capabilities and information that is inhibited by poor communications.

For over 15 years, civil servants and NHS leaders have been trying to improve data exchange between health service teams, disciplines, departments and organisations. But following the well-publicised failure of top-down attempts to create monolithic, universal communications and data-management structures, health service staff rely on a bewildering array of incompatible, stand-alone IT systems – leaving the NHS unable to create the collaborative, interlinked services so important to effective, safe patient treatment and operational efficiency.

Today’s technologies, however, give us a way round the problem: shared digital platforms can combine, manage and present data from dozens of previously-isolated IT systems, offering a comprehensive single view of each patient’s care. And this is where we get revolutionary.

At Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, leaders have introduced systems that sits above the trust’s 30 existing IT systems. Drawing data from them all – plus clinical patient monitors, and new handheld devices distributed to clinicians – it has radically improved patient safety, slashed the administrative burdens on staff, and strengthened the quality of diagnosis and treatment.

To give a couple of examples, eliminating the need for clinical staff to laboriously copy information – both between different IT systems, and between IT and paper records – has saved the equivalent of 124 full-time nursing roles, whilst eliminating transcription errors. Linking together patient allergy notes and prescriptions data enables the system to flag up alerts about potential adverse reactions: to date over 850 such reactions have been averted, saving around 2500 bed-days. And making real-time data on bed occupancy available across the trust has improved effective capacity, whilst avoiding the need for nurses to take time out for lengthy ring-rounds in search of spare beds.

To learn more about how the system works – and to hear about the implementation challenges – please fill in the form below to access this free webinar, featuring the trust’s Chief Medical Information Officer Dr Afzal Chaudhry and NetApp’s Chief Technologist Grant Caley.

The NHS has all the data it needs to dramatically improve patient care, cut errors and strengthen communication with service users. We need only to bring it together – and now we have the tools to do so.

    Please fill in the form below to access this free webinar Data Strategy: Bridging the Gap Between Clinicians and Technology, featuring Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Chief Medical Information Officer Dr Afzal Chaudhry and NetApp’s Chief Technologist Grant Caley

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