News, NHS trust

Clatterbridge Cancer Centre launches new digital strategy emphasising digital foundations, patient and staff empowerment, and better use of data

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre has launched a new digital strategy, emphasising digital foundations, patient and staff empowerment, and better use of data.

With the overarching digital mission to “harness the power of digital technology and data to transform care, improving patient outcomes and experience”; the strategy identifies four themes: digitally transforming cancer services, empowering cancer patients and carers, empowering staff, and advancing data-driven cancer research and innovation.

On digitally transforming cancer services, the plan sets out a roadmap to 2025, with steps including a clinical system optimisation programme, robotic process automation for pharmacy, a digital command centre, the expansion of the shared care record, primary care ecomms, and digital drugs management and workforce. From these actions, the trust expects to see benefits such as the real-time overview of operational data, real-time test results, enhanced collaboration around diagnosis and imaging, and improved care coordination and support across cancer and GP services.

In terms of empowering cancer patients and carers, the plan’s roadmap covers actions including Care@Home telemedicine and remote consultations, improving digital inclusion, virtual reality experience, a patient empowerment portal, and a virtual ward. Anticipated benefits are improved access to care, helping patients get home faster, improved patient communication with care teams, and enhanced acute care in people’s homes.

The roadmap to empowering staff covers RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) asset tracking, Tap&Go expansion, digital training on demand portal, DigiFlow, VR training, regional diagnostics network, and a digital champion team. These steps could mean that staff can track equipment with a high level of accuracy, that staff can tap in and out easily without losing unsaved work, that staff have the digital training they need, and that clinicians will have a faster and more reliable experience when accessing regional medical images.

Finally, on data-driven cancer research and innovation, the roadmap covers phases including an advanced analytics pilot for the lung cancer pathway, AI for diagnostics, improved use of dashboards and data assets, an advanced analytics platform, secure data environments, and a digital network refresh. Benefits from these steps could include better insights to advance treatment of patients with lung cancer, and better operational planning and decision making.

The strategy moves on to discuss digital foundations, noting improvements to be made across security, connectivity, devices, process, service, and platform. Actions under this header include continuing to build on the trust’s Cyber Essentials Plus and Data Security and Protection Toolkit accreditation; working with regional cyber security and emergency preparedness, resilience and response groups to respond to threats effectively; improving network speeds and resilience; adopting the latest operating systems to ensure ongoing digital asset support; maturing processes around technical infrastructure; building a digital command centre to better respond to digital and data needs; and moving to a cloud-first model by 2024.

To read the strategy in full, please click here.

Also from Clatterbridge, the trust has announced its role as one of the eight early adopter sites of the NHS’s new National Competency Framework (NCF) for the recruitment and development of data professionals, designed to “professionalise the data and analytics workforce within health and care and create a vibrant culture within the wider workforce” through collaborative work to standardise what data professionals are, what they do and their development.

The Centre has also trialled a powered biopsy device called OnControl that aims to shorten the procedure to take bone marrow biopsies from patients, with trial participants calling the process “much less stressful and painful”.