Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Optimising Clinical Service Delivery with Digital Technology

August 10, 2016

In my previous blog, I discussed the positive impact that digital technology can bring to operational excellence in health and care environments. This time it’s the turn of clinical service delivery, demonstrating how the very same technology platform can offer benefits to patient outcomes.

Whether inside the hospital or out in the community, digital technology is playing a fundamental role in transforming models of care. Indeed, it is difficult to understand how this transformation can occur without considering digitisation as an enabler. But, what is most important is to first understand the business needs in respect of better patient outcomes and/or experiences.

Take one example at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. The new Wolfson Cystic Fibrosis Centre was designed specifically to provide an ‘at home’ experience for patients. Amongst the many innovations is the use of video conferencing equipment to allow patients to communicate and collaborate with each other, hence building a community feel and avoiding the risk of infection.

Meanwhile, at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, they are using high definition video conferencing equipment to provide scalable, long distance support for patients and residents in care homes. In the first 11 months this helped prevent 124 unplanned admissions into hospital. The solution has now expanded to include support for Prison healthcare.

These case studies both began by first understanding the business and/or patient need, subsequently translating that to the technology domain. Hence, they are great examples of strategic planning with digital technology acting as an enabler. This approach of ‘business first’ is really the definition of digitisation.

Even more compelling is that these solutions can be offered from the same underlying technology platform – as can the examples cited in the previous blog on operational excellence. So, whether considering the organisation level or the broader health and care economy – perhaps even a Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) area – it demonstrates the incremental value of strategic planning and a single, consistent technology platform.

Further recommendations on an approach to digital strategy, as well as further evidence of benefits gained from digital technology can be found in publications on the Cisco UK Health and Care website.

Next up we’ll look at Effective Partnering, ever more important in the delivery of joined up health and care and regional STP plans.

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