Secondary Care

Feature: Health tech leaders outline their 2020 priorities

With 2020 on the horizon, this month we asked health tech leaders from NHS Trusts across the country for their priorities for 2020 and what they’re aiming to achieve.

Earlier in the week we also published our 2020 predictions feature where we asked health and care professionals and industry what they think will be big in 2020. You can read the predictions articles here: Part One or Part Two.

In this article we have curated a series of comments from professionals leading digital transformation in their organisation and outline their health tech priorities for 2020.

Phill James, Chief Information Officer, Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Our priority it to continue to strengthen our underlying infrastructure including fit for purpose devices and wider use of virtual desktop technology whilst building upon recent successes within our EPR to further strengthen patient care via additional prescribing functionality, introducing E-Observations, piloting Clinical Decision Support and continuing to optimise processes via our Lorenzo Digital Exemplar programme.

Stephen Slough, Chief Information Officer, Dorset HealthCare

Our Trust has a number of technology projects planned for next year to cement a robust and dynamic foundation.  Some highlights would be implementing a solution to replace our Microsoft Office suite, progressing further with video conferencing and tools needed to reduce travel for our staff.

We will also be further developing our work with remote patient consultation solutions, robotic and intelligent process automation, developing our analytics capabilities and exploring AI opportunities, whilst delivering a step change in our cyber defences with the deployment of a SIEM solution with our partners across our integrated care system.

Our aim for the future is to deliver digital transformation and support lasting organisational change.

Kat Poole, Head of Digital Programmes, The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

At The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust we will continue to implement the MY Digital Future strategy as a key priority throughout 2020. This programme of work is focused on transforming patient care and involves the development and implementation of a number of high profile digital projects simultaneously.

Our new electronic patient record (ePR) system, PPM+, will facilitate the delivery of the Shared Care Record alongside partner NHS organisations. This will allow the sharing of important patient information between hospitals, GPs and other health and social care services, and will enable clinical and care staff to view real-time health and care information across care providers and between different systems.

In addition, the upcoming Scan4Safety project will focus on enabling the ‘right patient, right product, right place, right process’. Patient safety and the safety and security of the products administered will be further improved through the tracking of products and patients via barcodes by clinicians.

Dr Afzal Chaudhry,  Chief Clinical Information Officer, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

In the past year we have been focused on getting more patients signed up to our patient portal – MyChart – which is fully integrated to our Trust-wide electronic patient record. We started 2019 with about 3,000 patients registered and are ending the year with over 23,000.

The portal provides patients with access to appointment details, diagnosis, test results, medication and allergies information. If any of those are incorrect they can make a change and it is flagged up for their clinical team to review and discuss with them next time they attend for an appointment.

We are working with our patients to get their feedback on the portal and its capabilities and we have now started to switch on more functionality, which will continue to be an area of focus for us in 2020.

One recent change to the portal is that we have introduced automatic results release, so our patients receive their results at the same time as their doctor. This has made a positive change and resulted in a more educated group of patients that are more empowered to understand what their results means, whether their results have got better or worse, and what it means for the future. We have received a number of good stories from patients particularly that they are more confident in their care because they have seen the information in advance and can have more focused and meaningful conversations during appointments with their clinicians. Patients also have a bit more time in advance to think about what they might want to ask.

In January 2020 we will be going live with proxy-enabled functionality to allow parents/guardians to access their child’s hospital record via the patient portal. Following this we will be developing and introducing adult proxy-enabled access, self-scheduling of appointments and the ability for patients to upload pictures in to the portal, such as rashes or a wounds, to help support better care and treatment.

Sonia Patel, Chief Information Officer, London North West Healthcare NHS Trust and The Hillingdon Hospitals Foundation Trust

The trust has several digital priorities in the New Year including a shared digital care record programme across London North West and Hillingdon hospital trusts.

It also wants to improve patient interaction via online channels, introduce robotics and AI, and improve staff workspace through Windows10 and Office 365.

Paul Charnley, Director of IT and Information, Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

There is a packed programme of work but at a technology level we are seeking to stay current on our infrastructure, safe in terms of cyber and moving to Office 365. These will be a challenge but we hope to make a lot more of collaboration through working with our neighbours.

We have invested as a GDE in a range of technology from patient portal to population health in the last two years. In 2020 we need to follow that through with increased optimisation and focused benefits realisation. This means working in a range of areas both within the hospital and more widely in our health and care system.

Ade Byrne, Chief Information Officer, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

We would like to become more mobile, and for all of our applications to run at least in part on mobile platforms and/or chrome browser.

We are planning to invest in clinical data warehousing that might see us doing more in the cloud.

At UHS we will link up more with national infrastructure like the NHS App Login and we will be deploying wearable devices to patients in some pathways for monitoring and improving outcomes.

Ian Brewer Head of Information Technology, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

We will deploy a cloud-based clinically focussed business intelligence platform to provide near real-time analytics to support clinical decision making and improvements in patient flow through a better understanding of the data.

Our patient focussed solutions will be extended to more clinical pathways, as well as providing more general patient use, so that they can see appointments, results, letters etc from a wide range of our services.  This will be enhanced with direct data capture from wearables and devices in the patient’s home, and will be joined up to national infrastructure via the NHS App login.

Our internally developed systems will be joined up to provide a seamless solution to clinicians.  This will be done with a “mobile-first” approach, so that users can access the data they need from the widest range of devices.  This will be further enhanced by deploying single sign-on capabilities across all capable solutions.

We will also modernise how patients keep in touch with us, and us with them by making more use of messaging, email and the patient portal.

Morgan Thanigasalam, Clinical Lead for ICT, Sherwood Forest Hospitals and Fellow of the Faculty of Clinical Informatics

We were really pleased to be announced as one of the Trusts awarded funding to implement Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration (EPMA) recently and so this will be a priority for 2020. As we work towards an Electronic Patient Record this represents a key gap in our journey and is also the functionality our staff identify as the most important digitisation piece to support high-quality and safe patient care.

The New Year will also see us digitising clinical assessments and expanding the use of technology in line with our Digital Strategy, with the aim to support informed decisions through digitally connected care. In order to achieve these patient facing programmes, it is essential through 2020 to maintain and develop a robust, secure infrastructure and having “stuff that just works” is the goal here. Also, as part of the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care System, we are heavily involved with Public Facing Digital Services.

Our key aims revolve around patient safety and experience. However, whilst our priorities for 2020 have a number of well recognised safety benefits, we are also mindful of the wider benefits of digital transformation. Making the best use of information and digital technology supports the wider challenges faced across the health and social care system. Financial challenges, recruitment and retention and managing capacity and demand are all areas that our 2020 and beyond programme supports. Perhaps most importantly, placing the patient and their information at the centre of all we do and visible to those involved in direct care has the greatest potential impact towards our vision. We will also focus on the quality of implementation as well as what it will achieve.

Owen Powell, Director of IT, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust

Our main priorities for next year are summarised as:

  • Introducing shared care records across our STP partner organisations. This will enable clinicians to have a much more comprehensive view of the patient record, and will improve safety and continuity of care across different NHS providers.
  • Improving technology for mobile workers, such as district nurses. We will be seeking to deploy improved connectivity, slicker input processes and more ergonomic technology solutions for staff who regularly work away from the office. The purpose of this is to reduce the amount of time spent on data input, and increase the amount of time with patients
  • Implementation of Electronic Prescribing to digitise this process and provide decision support to clinicians. The primary aim of this initiative is to improve safety when it comes to prescribing medications to patients
  • Developing ICT operational excellence. ICT has had a turbulent few years, and next year the team will focus on staff satisfaction by improving service delivery, working in closer partnership with front line services and generally aiming to reduce complexity and do the simple things well.

Isle of Wight NHS Trust

The Trust’s digital priorities for the coming year are focused on our journey to become paperless.  They include further enhancements to the functionality of the electronic patient record (EPR) system used within the acute hospital, to create & build our integration capability, provide community and mental health staff with the technology for them to record patient information and to invest in updating the supporting infrastructure including networks, servers and devices.

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

We are launching a new Electronic Patient Record system, Care Director, in 2020 which will be at the centre of our technology programme.

This will deliver a step change in our records system linking to DXC’s Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration (EPMA), the Leeds Care Record and Big Hand digital dictation.

Care Director has extensive mobile capabilities for our community teams, graphical bed management and modern simple to use system navigation making it easy for clinicians to access the information they needs where and when they need it.

Upgrading our network, procuring a new EDM and upgrading to Office 365 will also keep us busy.