News, NHS trust

Data reviews and targeted services take focus in strategy from Cambridge University Hospitals

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s ‘CUH Together 2025’ strategy highlights the role of digital and technology in improving care as well as outlining plans around the development of targeted services, virtual wards, patient portals, digital consent and more.

The strategy summarises key commitments across patient care, supporting staff and building for the future, with the use of data to target services where they are most needed highlighted as a key focus for the trust in working towards its strategic priorities for 2025, which include reducing unnecessary hospitalisations and working collaboratively with partners and other organisations.

In planned care, the trust hopes to review data on access rates and waiting times between different patient groups to identify inequalities, and to use remote technology-enabled care and virtual wards to ensure patients can return home more quickly and live more independently. The strategy also highlights the impact of digital technologies such as remote monitoring technologies, voice recognition, and “asynchronous communication through MyChart and Secure Chat”, in helping it achieve local and national ambitions.

On tackling inequalities and quality, safety and improvement, the strategy details plans to increase data completeness and use it to identify differences in outcomes, access and experiences; using the Equality Delivery System Tool (EDS2) to assess performance; and implementing digital consent to support a safe consenting process.

In terms of research, the trust plans to increase its capacity to deliver digital innovation and research in using AI and big data for health.

The strategy establishes the trust’s commitments to using technology and data to improve care, including ensuring the security of infrastructure and data environments, increasing the use of digital channels to help increase access and manage demand, delivering “digitally smart new hospitals”, and using digital systems to provide a seamless patient journey and share medical records as required. In addition, the strategy notes the importance of developing digital leadership expertise and digital skills along with supporting staff and patients in the adoption of new digital solutions.

Other plans for digital include maximising the potential of existing capabilities such as Epic tools; extending the MyChart patient portal to incorporate new workflow efficiencies and empower patients; digitising manual processes; extending virtual offerings to establish virtual wards, clinics and telemedicine; developing a shared care record; and investing in partnerships and tools to help with predictive modelling on patient demand and patient flow.

To read the strategy in full, please click here.

In related news, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS FT has highlighted the impact of an artificial intelligence tool, developed at Addenbrooke’s, in reducing the amount of preparation time for radiotherapy treatment.

On strategy, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear (CNTW) NHS Foundation Trust has published its new digital strategy, highlighting priorities around utilising technology to improve core clinical systems, empowering patients, advancing the use of information, promoting seamless system-wide working, improving efficiency, and developing safe and secure systems.