News, Secondary Care

James Paget Hospitals’ highlights digital vision

James Paget University Hospitals NHS Trust (JPUH) has released a refreshed clinical strategy for 2021-2026, which includes its digital plan and focus.

The trust says that the vision for its revamped strategy is “underpinned by four enabling strategies” identified by the trust through specialty workshops considered to have the most impact.” These are named as “Estates, Digital, Workforce and Research strategies”, with the dedicated ‘Digital Vision’ section of the report focusing on digital enablers that will contribute to the trust’s overarching plan.

Also taken into account are the trust’s ‘Core Digital Objectives’, digital deliverables, and how the digital vision will impact the plans for the new James Paget University Hospital, which is part of the national New Hospitals Programme (NHP).

The trust states that its vision for a digital organisation will include “every patient engagement point, every system and operational process point” becoming “a location whereby information can be collected, accessed and modified.”

JPUH adds that digital technologies will “contribute to transforming care in a sustainable, efficient and effective way,” while the “core benefits will be to improve the efficiency and economy of our services and to release clinical and nursing time for personalised direct care.”

The key enablers for the wider clinical strategy, highlighted in the dedicated digital section, include: the introductions of an ICS shared Electronic Patient Record (EPR) and a regional Shared Care Record (SCR); expansion of whole-journey clinical pathways; integration of all information including data, audio, and visual services; information that can be accessed and processed at ‘every patient touchpoint, both within the hospital, at home, and in the community’; replacing paper with digital; new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and digital automation to transform personalised care; an increase in investment in digital services.

In addition to the integration of patient care pathways through the EPR and SCR systems, JPUH outlines that its other ‘Core Digital Objectives’ revolve around: sharing information electronically, where possible, and ‘across organisational and geographic boundaries; using tools to ‘capture, monitor, and manage patient data’; better decision making through the adoption of AI, electronic observations and clinical decision support tools; and innovation with technology, such as remote monitoring, to ‘increase positive patient outcomes ‘and personalised care.

On its deliverables, the trust describes “digital teams from across the health and care sector working collaboratively with a shared vision and common goals”, technology enabling “consistent decisions”, the alignment and coordination of systems, and the delivery of tools that will “improve the accessibility and familiarity of systems for both patients and care providers.”

The trust also states that its new hospital will have “world-class digital capability”, with distinct plans around the digital initiatives that will take place before the building of the new government-funded hospital and health campus, as well as within it.

The East Anglia-based organisation notes that many of the new tools will arrive ahead of the completion of the new James Paget Hospital, enabling benefits to be realised, and time for the technologies to be “proven and embedded” before the building opens.

Actions and initiatives that will take place ahead of the opening include the EPR, which will feature a patient portal for booking and referrals and replace a number of existing separate clinical systems, the Shared Care Record (SCR), an increase in mobile technologies, implementation of ‘Single Sign-On’, and the adoption of automated systems for ‘regular highvolume processes and pathways’.

There will also be a focus on digital patient observations through medical or hand-held devices, a reduction of paper, the extension of virtual consultations to enable more home-based patient engagement, more remote monitoring and self-care – with patients’ homes becoming virtual wards, and use of digital and AI for health treatments, research, and care.

Once the new hospital is in place, within it, there is expected to be:

  • ‘Active real-time building management systems’ to control air, power, pressure and other conditions
  • Fully digital wards and clinics
  • Patient and equipment tracking and CCTV
  • A ‘digitally interactive’ building that can manage patient movement, provide directions, access control, sense activity, enable self-check-in and present information before patient arrivals
  • Artificial intelligence adoption to aid clinical care and decision making
  • Virtual learning for education and training
  • Automated robotics for transportation of materials around the campus
  • Access to building information and personal information for patients, from on their own smart devices.

New technologies for the new hospital will also be more focused on the “efficient and sustainable operation of the new environment” by providing effective buildings management, automated processes and efficient utilisation of services and equipment.

To find out more about JPUH’s digital vision, visit pages 21-23 of the trust’s updated clinical strategy.