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HTN 100 News Brief

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NHS Digital chief executive listed in 100 most influential women in UK India relations

NHS Digital’s chief executive Sarah Wilkinson has been named in the top 100 most influential women in UK India relations.

The top 100 list has been compiled by India Inc as part of UK-India Week, which runs from June 24 – 28. 

An India Inc spokesperson said: “Sarah Wilkinson is at the forefront of addressing obstacles in the path of the NHS’ procurement from Indian collaborators and has led trade missions to India to scope out commercial opportunities to work closely with the Indian healthcare industry.”

11% of NHS staff believe existing communication methods allow them to work effectively

A study from Junior Doctor-led healthtech initiative Forward Health has shown only 11% of hospital staff surveyed said existing communication methods (such as pagers, landline phones, and the hospital switchboard) let them work to the best of their ability.

The research commissioned by Forward Health, an instant-messaging and workflow app currently used by over 140 NHS Trusts revealed that 84% of staff felt frustrated with ‘status quo’ communication methods, with 76% reporting significant delays to tasks as a result. Feedback from staff found that doctors were wasting 42 minutes per day, on average, due to inefficient communication tools. 100% of clinicians surveyed use their smartphone at work, with >95% using a non-compliant tool (such as WhatsApp) to communicate and relay clinical decisions.

Dr Barney Gilbert, co-CEO and co-founder of Forward, commented “The results of this research strongly confirm what clinicians have been experiencing on the ground for some time. Our current communications infrastructure is not fit for purpose. As archaic technology is phased out over the coming months, it’s essential that we fill that void with a secure, effective platform that frontline staff will directly benefit from.”

Draper & Dash appoints entrepreneur and pharmaceutical industry specialist Natalie Douglas

Healthcare data analytics provider Draper & Dash has appointed Natalie Douglas as non-executive director.

Natalie Douglas comments “We need to rethink how healthcare is delivered, not just in the NHS but in every system around the world. Powerful data analytics will be at the forefront of this change and Draper & Dash is already demonstrating the potential that exists. By embracing this technology, decision makers are more informed and empowered to drive better results and efficiencies.”

“New ways of partnering with pharmaceutical companies are essential if we are to address the affordability and cost issues that dominate most healthcare delivery models. Being creative with technology and using alternative compensation methods – outcome-based payments for example – will be the foundation for the next stage of healthcare development.”

“Monitoring, accurately measuring and processing these outcomes will be critical in making this work. With up to 90 percent of healthcare spending in the hands of physicians, it is important that they have the best data and the most powerful AI support as possible to make the right decisions. They need to understand the efficacy of the medicine, how specific patient demographics have responded in the past, whether treatment is better at home and get reliable predictive insight into the likely outcomes.”

Essex County Council and PA Consulting partner to develop wearable tech

Essex County Council and PA Consulting have announced a partnership to develop wearable technology for residents at risk of falls.

The organisations will be working together to explore the potential of a new service using wearable technology, such as smart socks, to collect real-time data, movement and vital signs of the wearer’s limbs. Based on the information the tech would then alert the wearer or a health or care professional to warning signs that a fall is imminent.

The project, funded by the Local Government Association through its Social Care digital innovation programme. 

John Spence, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care at Essex County Council “The impact of falls on individuals and their families can be devastating and can severely impact both their quality and length of life. Reducing falls and fractures is important for maintaining health, wellbeing and independence among older people and their carers.”

A quarter of NHS acute trusts’ laboratory information systems ‘not fit for purpose’

Recent research by Transforming Healthcare Consultancy (THC) has revealed that 25% of NHS acute trusts are not compliant with standards that ensure that Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) are fit-for-purpose and user-friendly.

One hundred and twenty NHS acute trusts responded to the survey, of which thirty stated that they either do not have a User Requirement Specification (URS) in place or that it has not been reviewed since the last software upgrade.

A URS is a fundamental piece of evidence that enables an IT system’s software to be tested. It demonstrates that the pathology laboratory using the system has proved to reduce, as far as possible, any risk of potential harm to patients, and can be shown to be fit-for-purpose for the services it serves and the healthcare professionals that use it.

Seagreen-Bell, Managing Director of THC “The results demonstrate that nearly half of trusts are not fully aware of the risks of not validating LIMS, or do not have the skills, experience or resources to get compliant.” “All too often a URS is generated at the start of a system implementation and not updated as part of an upgrade or if changes are made to the software. To maintain quality and safe IT systems means you need to continuously update the URS especially when, for example, changes to legislation or clinical practice affect how the system is used.”  


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