We also welcome the report’s focus on promoting the role of data and digital tools in both supporting the prevention of ill health and empowering the public to manage their own health.
The review, which sets out how England’s ICSs can improve population health while reducing pressures on the wider health and care system, highlights among its key principles ‘the need for systems to access timely, transparent, and high-quality data’.
The report has already identified high performing ICSs that are enabling meaningful change through high quality, integrated data collection and interoperable digital systems.
Doing so will bring about a wide range of necessary and urgent fixes to improve the way that care can be provided, and to make the component parts of the health and care system more accountable and efficient.
- The levelling up of basic digital infrastructure in all parts of the system, not simply within acute hospitals.
- Implementing shared digital records and rostering systems to help staff work more effectively and to reduce their administrative burden.
- Supporting multi-disciplinary working through digitally-enabled tools that connect primary, community, intermediate care and acute hospital teams.
The power of multi-disciplinary working to improve diagnostics
Parts of the NHS are already pioneering these approaches to bring about efficient multi-disciplinary working, particularly in the field of diagnostics. Community diagnostic centres (CDCs) are emerging as a key means to boost efficiency while improving patients’ experience of care, and have been recognised as a hugely important part of meeting the care needs of local communities as part of the Hewitt review.
Enabling each ICS to better connect primary, secondary and community care settings via dedicated diagnostic hubs holds the potential to accelerate both patient discharge and wider elective capacity, while bringing care closer to the patients themselves.
As a clinical communications platform designed by experienced clinicians, Feedback Medical’s Bleepa can:
- provide a complete view of a diagnostic pathway by seamlessly connecting different clinical systems across a range of physical sites;
- allow much quicker and convenient clinical decision making within multidisciplinary teams; and
- offer medics and care professionals a fast, secure means of communicating with each other on their own devices across and within sites.
Bleepa’s goal has always been to maximise system capacity in order to aid effective clinical decision making.
That is why we have been working closely with teams at the Queen Victoria Hospital (part of Sussex Integrated Care System) to deliver the first live and operational end-to-end symptom-based pathway in the community diagnostic centre space.
This collaboration is intended to be used as a blueprint model for future CDC digital infrastructure models across the UK.
As the Hewitt review states, the challenges that face our healthcare system can “only be effectively tackled by many organisations working together, integrating care across the entire pathway and making the best use of available resources to achieve better, safer outcomes.”
“Our use of data must also support this mission, with improved data interoperability and more effective use of high-quality data,” the report adds.
Dr Tom Oakley, CEO of Bleepa parent company Feedback Medical said: “The Hewitt review identifies a wide range of opportunities to use digital technology alongside redesigned care pathways and to make more effective use of data to transform the way care is provided.
“These ideas can help deliver a better NHS not just for communities but for clinicians, creating opportunities to improve technical efficiency to enable our most valuable resource – our people – to work more effectively.”