Is the NHS in Need of a Health-check of its Own IT Systems?

Is the NHS in Need of a Health-check of its Own IT Systems?

Healthcare is one sector that is slowly but steadily adapting to technological advances. The UK National Health Service is working on implementing programs that will help it provide superior patient care by improving IT systems. Currently, the organisation is working on a ten-year plan that will enable it to streamline digital health services. Is there a need for this? It's crucial to dissect the present state of information technology in the NHS to see what solutions are necessary. The network system used in healthcare influences various elements. Distribution of community health services, patient data safety and patient experience are some of the main areas that rely heavily on IT. Improving IT systems means a positive impact on these components. With the expertise and experience of small business IT support, the NHS can provide its different organisations with the resources to boost its network infrastructure.

Improving Patient Experience

Is the NHS in Need of a Health-check of its Own IT Systems?

Embracing technological advancements in the healthcare industry has allowed practitioners and other players to provide patients with enhanced experiences. NHS Trusts are not only responsible for administering treatment but ensuring people have satisfactory experiences as well. The happier the patients, the better the efficiency of operations. Several technological solutions can drive positive patient care, but the NHS still has a few milestones to cross to achieve desirable outcomes. Patient entertainment systems are examples of how the national healthcare provider can boost experiences. Traditional systems have certain limitations that can make hospital stays lonely for patients. NHS Trusts can integrate entertainment platforms that engage users. If a patient can forget for a while about their situation, it does wonders for their experience. Incorporating all the relevant details on the platform allows patients to get what they require with ease. Imagine the convenience of a patient requesting for a pillow by pressing a bedside screen. Integrating feedback tools into the NHS system can go a long way in helping improve patient experiences. It's useful for healthcare providers and practitioners to know what people think of their services and products. Feedback provides vital information that the NHS can utilise to work on its shortcomings.

Enhancing Cyber Security

As it depends more on IT, the NHS has to deal with the risks that come with this move. The healthcare sector encounters a myriad of cyber threats, including data breaches, malware and ransomware attacks. In the UK, the NHS is one of the biggest targets of cybercrime due to the copious amounts of information it collects. Over the years, IT security awareness has improved, but it is far from ideal. In 2019, a white paper on the safety of the NHS network infrastructure stated that there is a need to do more. The paper by the Institute of Global Health Innovation of the Imperial College of London highlighted some of the areas that need work and provided recommendations. Implantable medical appliances, AI and robotics, are some of the technologies that are highly susceptible to cybersecurity issues if not properly secured. The NHS is responsible for the nation's healthcare. Any vulnerabilities in its systems mean compromising patient care. Going forward, it's imperative that NHS Trusts identify weaknesses in the IT infrastructure and apply the appropriate solutions. Training workers on IT security must be a priority because safety is as much personal as it is organisational. Partnering with IT services providers that understand the unique security challenges facing the NHS is essential.

Driving Higher Productivity

Is the NHS in Need of a Health-check of its Own IT Systems?

A big reason for the push of technological solutions on the NHS is to improve the productivity of workers. Long waiting times and poor service are frequent complaints about the service delivery of the national provider. Some of these arise from the staff having to do too much with few resources. A well-structured IT infrastructure can change that. The existing systems don't do enough to minimise the work that healthcare professionals carry out. For instance, employees spend a considerable amount of time attending to non-medical queries. With the help of an IT support provider, the NHS can upgrade its IT infrastructure to make important information readily accessible to patients. The more details that patients have at their disposal, the less that healthcare workers have to deal with them. This convenience saves time, freeing up staff members for more critical tasks. Another area where the national provider can improve on is the sharing of patient data. Automating patient history transfer can save a lot of resources. The lack of automated sharing means that when patients change physicians, their medical files have to be in hard copies to be transferred from one office to the next.

The road to digitising the NHS is a long one, but with the right assistance, it's not impossible. Working with qualified IT services providers such as Fifosys is critical for the national healthcare provider. The MSP has cast experience in the healthcare sector and knows what it takes to maintain an effective and result-oriented IT infrastructure. By investing in adequate resources, the NHS will be well-equipped for its duties to offer safe healthcare services for the people of the UK.

Debbie Bidewell

IT Manager

Debbie Bidewell