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23/11/2017

Technology In the Health Service: Business Not as Usual

The NHS is under unprecedented pressure.

More and more patients need hospital care, whether it’s in an accident and emergency department, seeking cancer treatment, or for planned routine operations, the steady increase is a concern.

The NHS collects and processes an immense amount of data, all of which can be analysed and actioned to improve the experience for patients.

There has been a growing movement and focus on how technology can be used to improve services and ensure patient care is not compromised.

There are benchmarking studies which those in charge at NHS practices can access and can conduct peer-to-peer analysis on their performance. This information is made public, but not necessarily arranged to be intelligent.

While digital platforms are increasingly being brought into the NHS, the service as a whole retains many manual process and so, the question remains, how can technology make a difference?

 

Using big data to improve the health service

We live in world where data is becoming increasingly important – whether collected in real time or historical – and cloud based platforms mean information can not only be processed faster, but shared more widely to mobile devices.

More recently, machine learning, and the ability for smart solutions to predict and prescribe better outcomes based on historical and real-time data, has started to creep closer to a reality in the health sector.

These smart platforms continuously analyse information, revealing patterns and trends to better inform future decision making and strategy development.

The benefit to the NHS, is that these machine learning platforms become ‘smarter’ and more effective the more information they are fed, and the NHS has plenty of data at hand.

This is a challenging environment, however, with many pitfalls. It takes real commitment and foresight from those in charge to transform a business into a tech-savvy environment.

 

Embracing change to improve patient outcomes

Introducing change can often be met with trepidation – especially when the change involves the implementation of new technology – but providing advice and expertise, like that offered by Draper & Dash, makes business transformation easier as managers can be reassured of the benefits.

NHS hospitals could carry out 280,000 more non-emergency operations a year by better organising theatre schedules, while the amount of operating theatre time wasted because of poor planning is disconcerting to say the least.

New technology is now allowing large organisations like the NHS to identify bad practices and inefficient processes and embracing these solution is the only way to improve patient outcomes and provide the best possible care.

Particularly considering budgetary pressures in the public sector the NHS cannot carry on “business as usual” and it is time managers do more to investigate and embrace the kind of technology which can improve administration processes and boost the level of patient care and safety at the same time.