We are all getting accustomed to accessing information and services digitally, allowing us to be more efficient with our time, hold information in one place and work around our busy lives. Being able to make payments electronically saves you a trip to the bank, avoiding the queues and additional hassle of parking. Knowing what time your delivery is due and where the driver currently is means you can dare to leave you house to run an errand and not miss your delivery. This level of convenience and efficiency is increasingly being experienced in healthcare.
We saw rapid acceleration of digital adoption by health systems during the response to Covid-19 and digital remains a core enabler to elective recovery. Digital also provides people with wider choice of access to services and can empower people to manage their health and wellbeing. Digital interoperability is key to enabling integrated delivery of care by ensuring health and care professionals can access and share the necessary health and care information. Digitally enabled agile working allows staff to work flexibly from a range of locations and can free up more time to deliver care.
However, digital transformation of health and care services is not easy. There is such a wide range of digital solutions to choose from often resulting in a patchwork of solutions that cannot talk to each other and resulting in poor value for money. There are varying levels of digital maturity and investment across sectors and systems meaning that not everyone can benefit, and implementation may be delayed while fundamental digital standards and technologies are put in place. Digital projects must meet national standards to access available funding and to provide assurance that solutions are safe and secure. Change management processes can be intensive and take a long time to ensure that you fully embed the solution and can realise the benefits of the investment.
It is vital that health and care systems develop fit-for-purpose digital transformation strategies that allow them to make the right investment decisions, embed digital enablers right across their operating model and can manage the change process to digitally transform care pathways.
The TU have the experience and knowledge to support you through this process. We have worked with national programmes, integrated care systems, places and providers to support a range of digital programmes including:
Working with our partner Kaleidoscope Health & Care we delivered extensive stakeholder engagement across the five sectors of community pharmacy, optometry, dentistry, ambulance and community health services to inform development of a 5-year digital strategy to digitally-level up these five sectors. We supported the digital PODAC programme team (part of NHS Transformation Directorate) to develop and secure endorsement of its digital strategy.
As part of a wider programme of work we supported Surrey Heartlands Health & Care Partnership to develop a new operating model for its Digital, Data and Technology function. We worked closely with the system team to undertake stakeholder engagement around their function, activities, and capabilities to produce a target operating model that best enables implementation of national What Good Looks Like requirements and addresses their digital priorities.
We have supported the development of several programme business cases for national digital programmes. For most of these we led the development of HM Treasury compliant five case model business cases to enable capital and revenue investment. In addition to authorship, we led the economic appraisal including full benefits evaluation and supported these programmes right through the assurance and approval process. Recent business cases include:
Working in collaboration with our MLCSU colleagues, we are supporting the design of new clinical pathways to embed Integrated Care Records into a number of clinical areas including emergency resuscitation, end of life care, frailty and mental health across three ICS regions in the Midlands. We are working at the interface between technical and clinical teams to facilitate clinical engagement and the clinical design aspects, ensuring that the technical feasibility and information governance is in place to support the sharing of relevant information between professionals and with service users.
If you have a digital transformation programme and you’d like to discuss how we can help, please get in touch. As part of Midlands & Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit we have access to great range of expertise whether that be strategic planning, business cases, clinical redesign or technical project management.