Today we have launched our ‘Digital NHS Healthcheck: The Citizens’ View’ report looking into peoples’ opinions of the use of technology across the NHS. The research findings show that the majority of British adults are on-board with the drive towards the NHS embracing technology; 68% of respondents thought the NHS ‘could and should’ use more technology improve patient experiences and outcomes.
The combination of high public demand coupled with a governmental imperative to digitise means we are likely to see a revolution in how the NHS uses technology over the coming years.
However, the research also illustrated the difficulties for the NHS in using technology to deliver new digital services. For instance, the NHS England 2020 Vision commits to having all personal GP records available online by the end of 2015, however, only 4% of respondents stated that they had access to all their health records online. Moreover, the research found over a quarter of adults (28%) stated they or someone they knew had experienced a delay in receiving care due to health professionals being unable to share data.
These challenges aren’t surprising when it comes to an organisation as large and complex as the NHS. With so many moving parts, it will always be a considerable undertaking to coordinate all areas, but technology has the potential to simplify that task for the NHS. Increasing the use of technology throughout the service can help with that simplification, by implementing intelligent systems that support the NHS to achieve its goals.
The research also highlighted that there are some further areas in which the NHS can embrace technology to offer patients an improved service. For instance, almost half of British adults (48%) supported the idea that the NHS should provide virtual consultations via video link; a further 76% of Brits are also keen for the NHS to either offer or approve healthcare apps. Supporting doctors to use video channels and offering or approving healthcare apps could make a significant difference to the ultimate goal of the NHS – continuing to provide exemplary care to patients.
There’s no doubt that technology can play a significant role in helping the NHS achieve its digital aims, but implementing and managing the technology that will underpin the transformation of the NHS is no simple task. At a time when the NHS is under more scrutiny than ever, it must work with technology partners that can help deliver this value, whilst driving the organisational transformation that will underpin an improved patient experience.
The full ‘Digital NHS Healthcheck: The Citizens’ View’ report can be downloaded here.