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How Digital Transformation Can Help the Healthcare Sector’s Journey to Recovery

How robust processes and technology platforms help face the challenge.
health workers at a table discussing information on an ipad or tablet
| Robert Hobbs | Healthcare

As healthcare providers start restoring normal services and make plans to tackle the backlog of waiting lists, how can technology help in this journey to recovery?

At the beginning of the pandemic, the digital parts of the various services across the healthcare sector weren’t integrated – a fact that was widely criticised for slowing down the dissemination of vital information across national and local levels. A report by Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee found that:

"…given the UK’s strengths in statistical analysis and data science, it is regrettable that poor data flows, delays in data-sharing agreements and a general lack of structuring and data integration across both the health and social care sectors have throttled timely data sharing and analysis."

Parliament Science and Technology Committee

Today, more than a year later, a similar debate is already raging about how this same lack of integration will hamper the ability of individual acute and community healthcare trusts to resume normal services and adapt to regulatory and environmental changes.

Some trusts already have processes and platforms in place to support internal programs, such as audits and performance management. However, far too many of them are still relying on outdated manual processes and collaboration tools to help them manage what will be an unprecedented year of change. Throughout 2021, internal standard operating procedures and external communication to partners and service recipients will have to be constantly updated. More concerning still is the fact that these decisions about service availability (and thus, external messaging) will in some instances fail to reflect the real-time situation.

By using technology solutions that foster team collaboration and employee accountability, healthcare providers are finding that these solutions are delivering results far beyond the original brief. They are discovering that technology can develop greater trust and empathy within an individual acute or community healthcare trust, not just because it increases accountability, but because it helps individual healthcare professionals understand how or why a situation has arisen, and how best to move forward.

Additionally, the right technology solution can empower trusts to ensue they’re setting the correct actions that lead to the desired outcomes, and then tracking those actions to gain maximum visibility of the impacts of those actions. By allowing trusts to properly capture assessments and feedback, digital transformation tools are empowering collaboration far more effectively.

This cultural shift has also empowered frontline service providers by encouraging service provisioning and helping departmental or organisational leaders to have discussions based on hard facts. This alone can increase productivity, lead to greater innovation and speed up the rate which the trust can respond to regulatory and operational environment changes.

By using real-time information and sharing it more quickly and easily, trusts can foster a more supportive culture, where sharing and discussion help everyone to discuss “how we can do things better”.

For the leading trusts that have already invested time and energy in their platforms and processes, the challenges of 2021 will force them to make decisions almost continually. However, they can adapt their strategies with more confidence, in the full knowledge that they can update their teams with the ‘why and how’ message almost instantaneously and deliver real assurance.

For the trusts that haven’t yet adopted solutions to these challenges, the year ahead will bring not only a series of challenging decisions but also a never-ending, time-consuming stream of meetings and internal and external briefings to communicate those decisions.

The real test for the industry in restoring normal services will be in ensuring that team members can clearly understand how the changes will affect them individually and how they will affect the organisation and its future plans. That’s why InPhase is bringing together a leading panel of industry leaders to discuss how technology can be best used to help achieve restoration. They will be looking at how these solutions can be implemented quickly and with as little disruption as possible to the work of frontline caregivers, and they’ll be exploring what we realistically expect from the year ahead as we use digital solutions within the current environment to speed the journey to recovery.

Webinar promotional banner for the nhs restoration round table event

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