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Health Tech Trends Survey: Digital Maturity

In the first of the HTN Health Tech Trends Series sponsored by InterSystems, we asked NHS professionals their satisfaction with the digital maturity of their organisation.

The survey was open for six months up until July 2019, where we asked healthcare professionals a series of questions, in which over the next 6 months we will bring you the results online and in our printed newspaper.

In this first article, we include the respondents satisfaction levels with interoperability, access to information, infrastructure, being paperless, user friendly software, hardware and use of data.

Going forward our aim is to open up discussions on these topics on HTN and social media to provide a voice for everyone in health and care to contribute. Please join the discussion with us on Twitter or LinkedIn, or you can by email to

According to the findings of our Trends Survey, 44% of NHS employees said they were dissatisfied in a paper process still being part of everyday. With similarly less than half of respondents said they would hit the long-standing paperless 2020 target. There was just under 10% of respondents who said they were completely paperless.

There was a similar theme with interoperability, 39% were dissatisfied with how their organisation was sharing information between systems and healthcare providers, however 30% were satisfied or very satisfied with interoperability in their area.

One IT Director from an acute trust said “The biggest challenge is typically understanding what needs to happen to make interoperability a reality. Procurement are often not engaged early enough in the process with IT who are the stakeholder that is needed to be fully on board to do the work and make the changes. There also needs to be a deeper use of structured data and messaging standards.”

A CIO at a large trust, a Global Digital Exemplar said “In order to deliver this we also need to invest in people, you wouldn’t let a surgeon operate without training. We need to up-skill our people to make the appropriate decisions about technology. This is not an IT decision.”

In the survey we asked what some of the challenges are, a Senior Charge Nurse said “Communication can be a big issue with different parties using different professional language. Office/IT staff need to understand practical problems that computerised systems can cause for patient facing staff.”

An Assistant Director of Informatics replied “We need to be joining up via tech and semantic standards,  it’s the only rational way to deliver value. The challenge is getting strategy and policy functions to prioritise this.”

The survey also asked about software usability, with 58% of respondents replying that they were not satisfied with the general usability and ease-of-use of software.

Scoring positively, respondents said that hardware, infrastructure, including internet and wifi access, was one of the key digital highlights in their organisation.

39% of respondents said they were happy with the use of data in their organisation and how it is interpreted into meaningful use. However almost half of the respondents said the login and the ease to do so into multi systems was a problem.

According to the results, electronic prescribing and medicines management, interoperability and digitising paper patient records are the top priorities the respondents want to see addressed.

In the next Health Tech Trends Series we analyse our qualitative research and data, covering topics on: successful tech projects, health tech priorities and challenges, adoption and what’s holding your organisation back, cloud, automation and AI, cyber security, sharing information and interoperability. We will also focus on methodology and advice from health and care professionals.