Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System (ICS) has released a digital transformation strategic plan and roadmap, following on from their engagement work in creating their clinical and digital strategies.
The plans lays out the ICS’s digital roadmap, how it will invest in digital as an ICS, its clinical objectives and digital ambitions, as well as next steps.
The ICS’s high-level objectives for digital include: improving communication between the system, introducing an EPR across three acute trusts, scaling virtual services, and improving data in terms of how it is stored and used.
To put these steps into action, a programme called ‘Connect-NoW’ has launched, with a vision to develop a fully integrated digital service across Norfolk and Waveney. Here, the ICS states three ambitions: to improve the safety of people and the quality of care; to allow staff more time to care for people; and to help people to manage their health and wellbeing better.
The plan has been formed on the basis of engagement with local people, with the ICS speaking to 250 people over the summer of 2022 to find out what digital health and care improvements can be made. The engagement highlighted that people wanted to see improved access to services, technology being used for reliable information sharing and further resources to support people live well.
People also stated that they wanted the ICS to ensure that information was shared securely and kept confidential; they wanted to continue to see human care for those unable to use digital; and they wanted assurance that inequalities are not further impacted.
These areas are emphasised in the ICS’s digital transformation key themes, which highlight the need for reliable information sharing across the system, security of information, the ‘human element’ in care, access to resources to support living well, virtual access to services, and improving patient digital processes.
To support its clinical strategy objectives, the ICS aims to introduce digital tools to provide predictive capabilities supporting early treatment and intervention, reduce the administration burden and support scheduling tools to direct people to the right place of care. In addition, ambitions include improving data collection and analysis; supporting information sharing for a holistic view of a patient; and supporting collaboration to avoid duplication.
For the ICS roadmap for the next three years, programmes include:
- Shared care record – visibility of GP, community, social care, mental and acute patient records
- Health and care data architecture, with a single data source for system-wide analysis, with advanced system intelligence produced by a single ICS Analytics Team
- Population health management – expansion of population health across the system, risk stratification tools and customer relationship management to better understand and engage the population
- Infrastructure, network and connectivity, engaging WiFi connectivity, network upgrades and cloud telephony
- Virtual wards and remote monitoring, with continued expansion of virtual wards to priority pathways
- Single digital front door through NHS App integration
- Electronic patient record system delivered to three acute hospital trusts
The next steps for the ‘ICS Digital Transformation Strategic Roadmap and Investment Plan’ include: commencing and agreeing the appointment of key digital transformation roles; sharing the financial plan with chief finance officers across the ICS; further producing investment cases and plans for digital projects; and regularly reviewing achievements of goals that address new priorities as the clinical strategy develops.