NHS failing to create digital first service

electronic health, electronic patient records

The NHS is failing in its commitment to create a digital first service and improve care through technology, according to new research, which found nearly 60 per cent of patients are not satisfied with current processes.

In 2014, the health sector published a five-year vision to improve patient care through technology, but nearly half way through the process patients remain unsatisfied.

A lack of accessible information rated among the highest complaints in the report by Apadmi Enterprise, a leading mobile application and technology developer, with almost 80% of patients calling for hospitals to bring in apps to improve access to basic information.

At present, the healthcare sector is failing to live up to its promises to create a digital first service as over half (55%) of patients claimed they have never used mobile technology to engage with the NHS ahead of, or during a hospital visit.

The majority of patients (76%) said they would like to use a form of technology to manage hospital appointments, such as booking, cancelling or confirming an appointment. And over half (55%) would want technology to store their prescriptions.

Patients claim the lack of hospital information currently available, particularly around parking, is one of their biggest bug bears (59%), which explains why two thirds (66%) want the NHS to develop a digital offering that can assist with this kind of information.

Technology that empowers patients with regards to their own healthcare is also another key consideration. 45% would like a digital way to access their healthcare records so they can make better decisions about their health and 43% said they would want to use the technology to help them manage their own illness – such as tracking their medications, or keeping a food diary.

The research forms part of a report called ‘How can mobile application technology change the way patients engage with healthcare organisations?’. The aim is to give healthcare professionals valuable insight into what patients want and expect from mobile technology in the healthcare sector.

Matt Hunt, CEO of Apadmi Enterprise, said: “Mobile technology has huge potential to transform the way healthcare is provided and accessed in the UK. New technology and services will allow healthcare professionals to better serve their patients, as well as enable people to be more proactive in managing their own health and well-being.

“When it comes to hospitals, there is a clear need to improve patient engagement and communication, and our research highlights that focus needs to be around providing regular updates so patients feel informed during the entire visit, as well as offering greater access to patient information so they feel empowered to manage their own health too.

“But while it’s clear that digital first service and mobile technology adoption in hospitals is still in its infancy, our research demonstrates that there is a strong demand from patients for this kind of tech to be implemented. Organisations will undoubtedly need help managing utilisation, streamlining processes and handling the vast amounts of data that will be stored or generated. But it seems there is no better time for healthcare organisations to seize the opportunities of mobile app technology to take advantage of greater efficiencies and better patient outcomes.”

For more information, please visit http://www.apadmi.com/enterprise-healthcare-report-press


4 Replies to “NHS failing to create digital first service”

  1. Collaboration between IT Consultancy BJSS (www.bjss.com) and NHS Digital, the national information and technology provider for the health and care systems (www.digital.nhs.uk), has created the NHS e-Referral Service (NHS e-RS), which has saved the NHS £10 million in its first year of operation. The collaboration resulted in a 60 per cent reduction in running costs compared to the Choose and Book system, which the NHS e-Referral Service replaced in June 2015.

    The joint NHS Digital and BJSS team delivered a system with an 89 per cent reduction in response time, saving the NHS 750 hours every day. The ongoing collaboration includes development of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), which will enable GP clinical systems, secondary care provider systems and third party applications to interact with the NHS e-RS directly, removing the need for users to swap between applications and the professional user interface

    We are delighted with the exceptional results from the new NHS e-Referral Service. It is not only a testament of innovation in healthcare technology, but demonstrable proof Open Source can be used to deliver complex software solutions on a national scale.

  2. “While the NHS has shown great commitment to digitally transforming the patient experience, our data shows a concerning lack of awareness – both in terms of the potential security threats stemming from the cloud and also the data being stored and shared by employees through cloud apps. Given the NHS deadline to go paperless by 2020 and the resulting push towards a digital-first strategy, NHS Trusts will need to ensure the correct security controls are in place in order to remain vigilant to the possible threats posed by cloud apps and take proactive measures to secure data in the cloud.

    “Although apps offer significant productivity benefits, when left unchecked they can also pose serious risks for organisations such as fines for non-compliance and reputational damage. The healthcare sector in particular handles a huge cross-section of sensitive data, including large amounts of personally identifiable information relating to citizens’ health. It is absolutely vital that this sensitive data is kept secure. An appropriate strategy around cloud app use is a vital piece of this security issue.

    “With a growing appetite for sensitive medical data amongst cyber criminals, the healthcare industry needs to respond by ensuring IT teams have the tools they need not only to have visibility into employee app use and activity, but also to have deeper intelligence, protection, and remediation that can help them stop malware in its tracks. As the cloud threat landscape becomes increasingly complicated, steps must be taken to ensure that patient privacy and security remain a top priority.”

    Jonathan Mepsted is, managing director UK at Netskope (www.netskope.com)

  3. Ransomware is proving a lucrative business – with the Cyber Threat Alliance recently stating that one ransomware family (CryptoWall 4) has extorted $18M so far. And with health records reportedly worth 10 times more than other data, such as bank records, the threat to the health industry is significant.

    With news today (October 10th) that as many as 28 NHS trusts in England have fallen victim to ransomware in the last year alone, there can be no dispute as to the threat this attack vector poses to the NHS. Trusts should take all necessary steps to prevent ransomware infections and to reduce the impact of attacks when they breach defences. From backing-up systems daily and developing an incident response policy, to educating staff on how to spot ‘phishing attacks’, organisations actively working to reduce their risk will find themselves better placed to fend off ransomware attackers – protecting patient data, revenues and reputations.

    Organisations that want to learn more about the preventative measures and the tools available to combat this threat should look to the No More Ransomware Project, from the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, and Intel Security and Kaspersky Lab.

    Gordon Morrison, Director of Government Relations at Intel Security

  4. A recent investigation revealed inconsistencies in cyber defences within the National Health Service as well as a troubling increase in the number of personal data breaches which could compromise patient security. It’s time for the health sector to wake up and recognise that its goldmine of data will soon come under constant attack on a similar scale to what we have already seen in the financial services sector.

    As the NHS begins to implement its paperless healthcare strategy, it must also increase cyber security procedures to protect digital documents and data. This means making implementation of encryption technology alongside rigorous testing of all applications for vulnerabilities a top priority to keep hackers and cyber criminals locked out.

    Tim Jarrett, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Veracode

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