It’s incredible to think of the sheer scale of the NHS; the service employs over 1.5 million people, putting it in the top five of the world’s largest workforces, and provides care for a population of 54.3 million people.
As you can imagine, this is a significant portfolio for those working in the service, particularly in administrative positions. This blog takes a look at how the NHS is using technology for data management and to ensure their systems operate smoothly.
The Role of NHS Digital
NHS Digital aims to harness information and technology to transform health and care in the UK, both for those who receive it and for the professionals who work in the service.
Their role encompasses data protection, providing technological support for care organisations and getting greater value for the information generated by the NHS. They have published a framework for core technology standards, which includes:
- Standardised IT systems that work together seamlessly, eliminating misinformation and misunderstandings
- A tech-driven NHS, as set out by the government’s Vision for Technology
- Maximising the potential of cloud options, as well as supporting their adoption and migration
Patient Health Management
As well as raising technology standards across the board, the NHS are also developing strategies to help patients better manage their own health. Their ‘NHS Choices’ website has long been a trusted source of advice on conditions and services. However, they have also launched NHS apps to help people improve their own health, with categories for mental health and diabetes available.
Patients can now have a personalised experience on the NHS website as they can book appointments and access their personal health records. Clinicians also have better access to patients’ medical information wherever they are as there has been a drive to digitise hospitals, with sixteen Global Digital Exemplar acute trusts announced.
Benefits of An Integrated PAS
With the volume of patients cared for by the NHS (which can be upwards ofa million patients every 36 hours), new ‘Patient Administration Systems’ (PAS) have been in development, which can help the NHS manage their data.
In partnership with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Oceano PAS was developed – an integrated software system togive the NHS a complete management system for their patient care, from referral through to admission and discharge.
They recognised how, in many hospitals, IT systems could impact on the delivery, quality and timeliness of care provided, and the software was designed specifically to tackle the issue. As such,Oceano PAS has modules for each specialised area of care and facilitates efficient communication and information flows between systems, eliminating the need to replace everything at once.
With 1.5 million staff in employment, providing care for a population of over 50 million people, the NHS has technology at the forefront. They are on their way to transforming the health and care industry with integrated PAS and standardised IT systems, as well as better access to patient records for both clinicians and patients – a digital plan that could vastly improve how care is provided in the UK.