Health Tech Leaders Awards 2020 meet the winners

As part of HTN Digital Week we held the Health Tech Leaders Awards 2020, sponsored by CCube Solutions, to recognise the great work of teams that have made a difference to health and care through technology, partnerships and innovation.

Vijay Magon, CEO of CCube Solutions said “I would like to say a huge well done and thank you to everyone involved in the Health Tech Leaders Awards 2020. The health tech community has truly stepped up recently and made a significant difference, at a time it was needed the most. The awards have been a great way to help share the hard work of teams across the country and to take a minute out to say well done.”

Team Working At Pace

Winner: Barts Health NHS Trust

The informatics team at Barts Health NHS Trust quickly mobilised alongside colleagues in the trust to deliver the technology required to make the 4,000 bed NHS Nightingale Hospital London work. A monumental project delivered in an extremely short window of time saw digital patient records in place in five days, a picture archiving and communication system in place in three days, new pathways developed for imaging and diagnostic reporting, the delivery of an entirely new hospital infrastructure, 26km of network cables, more than 500 switches, 4,500 PCs, telephony, imaging modalities, printing for diagnostic labels, wristbands and patient labels for scanning, and an extensive integration of systems.

Staff who had already been working tirelessly for weeks to respond to the urgent Covid-19 needs of Barts Health’s existing five hospitals, were thrust into another intensive operation when Barts took charge of Nightingale, working anywhere up to 20 hours a day for five continuous weeks, without weekend breaks to get the job done.

Suppliers responded with equal resolve. In addition to infrastructure partners – three big systems suppliers for electronic patient record (Cerner), imaging diagnostics (Sectra), and lab diagnostics (Clinisys) responded immediately to requests for help and started doing work that same day, for free.

The team said “We needed a fully integrated system. Full integration meant clinical staff being able to order in Cerner Millennium and all of those orders going into the downstream to receiving systems. Modalities worked. Point of care testing worked. And we removed paper for safety and clinical efficiencies.”

“For diagnostic imaging – a six-hour turnaround target was set. The technology put in place meant that a chest x-ray was carried out in just 45 minutes from being ordered, and then reported in a further 45 minutes – even at 3am. And we created new ways of working in the PACS so that radiographers never needed to look at the radiology information system (RIS), making life much easier for staff who didn’t need to enter additional information into a sperate system. The PACS also enabled information to be clearly presented to clinicians without them having to move to different parts of the large hospital.”

“The existing network at Excel was not suitable for healthcare technology requirements and so the team had to build an entire network infrastructure from scratch. We installed our own network, our own LAN, and WAN, and also enabled free patient WiFi as well as Govroam to allow researchers to access WiFi.”

“PPE posed a new challenge. Even for infectious illnesses in acute hospitals, there is a very rare requirement to don full PPE kit. To avoid people having to press additional buttons the team made PCs kiosk mode to remove the need for additional log in credentials. The creation of virtual smartcards meant staff didn’t need to touch plastic cards. Phones were programmed so staff could carry them on their person, and without having to touch the phone it would automatically go to talking mode in 30 seconds of a call coming through. The team also enabled point of care testing for blood test analysers, and MRI, something that will be taken forward to other hospitals beyond Covid.”

“Efforts were focussed on making work safer and easier for healthcare professionals, and to save them time. Even a single minute saved on a clinical workflow would amount to large time savings if we had scaled to the volume planned for.”

“Thanks to the efforts of the team, the new Nightingale Hospital was subsequently able to become an extension of Barts Health. It meant healthcare professionals could come and work there without having to do any extra connectivity efforts.”

“All of this was done whilst the informatics team was working to deliver a full range of technology measures to manage coronavirus for staff across Barts Health’s other five hospitals. This meant enabling 20,000 staff to work remotely. It meant virtualising outpatient clinics. Staff distributed additional devices and laptops. Traffic was re-routed so servers could take on the load from remote workers. And the team helped our sites reconfigure wards to ICUs.”

Outstanding Supplier Contribution

Winner: AdviseInc Ltd

Mat Oram, CEO & Co-founder, AdviseInc “We’re delighted to be have won the Health Tech Leaders Award for ‘Outstanding Supplier Contribution’ in recognition of our PPE tracking and forecasting system, StockWatch.”

“The tool was created by our team in response to an NHS trust who needed to understand what PPE they had, where it was and how long it would last. The first version was developed and rolled out in an afternoon. Now on v3, we’ve gone on to support over 200 local and regional healthcare teams track and forecast their PPE and at no cost. We’ve had some great partners support us along the way, including  the wider Health Tech community. It’s given our team a real sense of pride for all the effort they’ve put in.”

Neil Hind, GM NHS Procurement Programme Director, NHS in Greater Manchester “AdviseInc’s free PPE Tracker (StockWatch) has been a key enabler in understanding & tracking PPE across all of our public services in Greater Manchester. In a matter of days, we’ve gone from spreadsheets and inconsistent data to a clean, single source of the truth that is updated in near real-time. The numbers are now a core part of our daily meetings and enables the system to clearly understand daily stock levels of PPE across the region and better forecast demand. It was evidenced at the end of the first week when our MoD colleagues were able to use the data to feed into the national picture with data available at the click of a button. We really appreciate the time and effort AdviseInc are putting into this at such a critical time for our public services.”

Sue Colbeck, Associate Director of Procurement, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS FT “AdviseInc were quick to onboard our trust (over the space of a weekend) and the team have provided fantastic support every step of the journey since. StockWatch has helped remove Excel from the process of tracking PPE and has provided consistent data not only across my trust, but the STP and Region too. Transparency of PPE stock levels and daily consumption has enabled mutual aid across the region. We now have visibility of all critical PPE across three sites and stock issues out to 100+ wards. AdviseInc’s knowledge of healthcare, products and their appreciation of the challenges we face in a hospital environment has been instrumental in creating an agile, light-touch, easy to use solution that’s helped my team keep frontline staff protected during Covid19.”

Making an Impact

Winner: East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust

In the past month and a half, the automation team at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) have saved the NHS more than 8903 hours. The team have planned, architected and deployed automations that would normally take 6 weeks to build, live within a 24-48 hour window.

Automating the patient diagnostic tracking and anti-body testing

The Automation team were quick to respond by deploying Digital Workers to handle the patient diagnostic tracking process. Digital Workers log data into the tracker, monitor its progress and status, transfer and update patient data and notify departments. The goal was to reduce clinical risk by ensuring the process is completed accurately and quickly.

A similar process was also created for anti-body testing. The team have written a process in which a Digital Worker retrieves antibody test requests from staff via a Microsoft Teams form. The Digital Worker then scans the form to ensure all fields are correctly populated, and then loads it into a pending queue. From here, the Digital Worker searches the electronic results application, Sunquest ICE, to locate the individual’s NHS number. If no record is found, the Digital Worker will create a new patient record. From here, the worker will submit the request and continue to check the system for a result. Once this is issued, it will email or text the individual with the results. In 24 hours the automations have handled 4472 transactions.

Voucher Allocation

ESNEFT, in partnership with NEL Healthcare Consulting, created and successfully launched a Digital Worker that distributes supermarket offers and food delivery voucher codes to Social Care organisations across England.

Working through a list of Social Care organisations with an assigned number of vouchers, the Digital Worker issues the correct amount of voucher codes, writes a supporting email and sends this via a dedicated NHSmail account. The digital workers have allocated more than 1,000,000 Vouchers.

Providing care homes access to NHSmail

As part of Matt Hancock’s imperative to have all care home data available in real time, the NHS were at a push to ensure all care homes and social care organisations have access to an NHSmail account to be able to feedback statistics. For ESNEFT, this meant an influx of over 16,000 requests, all that had to be actioned with immediate effect. Rather than drafting in staff who were already overloaded with work and requesting yet more overtime, the automation team built an automation that would quickly and effectively process incoming requests for account set up. This has helped to mitigate a significant administration bottleneck and helped ESNEFT to comply with new regulations.

Health Tech Leader of the Year

Winner: Dr Nicole Atkinson, GP & ICS Clinical Lead, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICS

Alexis Farrow, Connected Nottinghamshire said “Nicole is a GP in Nottingham and also the clinical lead for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICS. She has always been an avid supporter of the benefits of clinical and population driven digital solutions and has worked with the digital programme across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICS, providing clinically led leadership, advice and support to drive long lasting and sustainable digital enablement.”

“Since the Covid-19 outbreak Nicole has been a more prominent figure in the use and benefits of digital across health and care. She has been the driving force behind a number of significant digital transformation programmes including the deployment of a cloud based virtual desktop solution utilising virtual smart card access across primary care in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. The cloud base virtual desktop interface has enabled primary care staff to access their clinical systems remotely via their own PC or laptop using a virtual smartcard. Nicole was a key influencer in the roll out of this solution, at pace, across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire’s primary care estate. Mentoring and supporting practices that were in danger of closing down due to the large number of staff unable to get into the surgery or treat patients safely from home due to not being able to access their clinical system.”

Nicole said “Thank you to HTN for last week’s award ceremony celebrating the amazing work of our health technology teams. I was completely overwhelmed to win the category and am still coming to terms with this.”

“2020 has been the strangest year for me and i’m sure it has felt that way for many others. The changing landscape through Covid has seen significant challenges but also immense opportunities as our workforce and patients adapt at pace to the “new” normal.”

“With this has come the digital transformation many of us have been dreaming about. This has happened in the space of weeks, not years. Getting this buy in for change has meant digitally enabled care delivery models are now seen throughout Nottingham & Notts and this is echoed across the country.”

“We have been able to deliver video and online consultations in primary care, enabled virtual secondary care outpatients, seen an enormous increase in patients registering and using the NHS App through our NottsNHSApp challenge and rolled out Patient Knows Best to our practices which fully integrates with the NHS App.”

“This has only been possible through the commitment of our local health tech teams. Special mention must go to Connected Notts and Nottingham Health Informatics Service who have gone above and beyond during this time to deliver month’s worth of change in a matter of weeks.”

“The overwhelming response by Nottingham and Notts to get behind my NottsNHSApp challenge was outstanding. Activating champions across health, care, our local authorities, sports clubs, local businesses, media and even a few local celebrities meant we were able to increase our NHS App usage by 36,000 in a matter of weeks. This has meant Nottingham and Notts ICS has the highest number of people registered for the App in the country. This was system working at it’s very best and I feel extremely privileged to have helped lead and influence this movement in my role as Notts ICS Clinical lead.”

Supporting Healthcare Teams

Winner: CareScan+ Team – North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust urgently required a quick effective tracking mechanism for ventilators used during the care of patients with Coronavirus. They were able to adapt a locally designed track and trace system to provide front line and urgent response staff with the real-time location and condition of these vital pieces of equipment.

Tony Naylor, Associate Director of ICT said “Thank you very much to you and your colleagues for hosting the Health Tech Leaders awards. Working for the benefit of our patients is itself hugely motivating, but it is great to be able to share examples of work that we are proud of and see this for other health sector organisations. Your publications help to do this in a very engaging and accessible way. We are thrilled to receive this award and thanks to our amazing clinical colleagues working tirelessly to put patients first.”

Health Tech Hero

Winner: Randal Whitmore, NHSX & Difrent

NHSX & Difrent enabled key and essential workers to return to the frontline following negative Coronavirus test results. They delivered the Coronavirus home test ordering service in 5 days which has delivered 100,000+ home testing kits and growing.

Working with AWS, NHSBSA and a range of Government organisations, NHSX & Difrent led the delivery of the home test ordering service, both online and assisted digital channels, in just 5 days. This included a seamless integration with Amazon’s fulfilment centres and a modular architecture, enabling the service to scale across all COVID-19 home testing services.

By the 8th day of project delivery, NHS workers were ordering home testing kits.

 – To find out more about the entries, read about the finalists here –