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The NHS at 70: Three Points For Another 70 Years of Success

July 19, 2018

Clinicians and healthcare practitioners making a contribution every day to innovation in healthcare heavily influence our own work at Bitjam. With the NHS now in its 70th year, we’ve highlighted three key points that we believe will be the backbone for the future of the NHS, with particular focus on grass-roots innovation and discoveries that start with frontline staff.

Innovation is Imperative to Continuing NHS Success

Research shows that as a nation we’re getting healthier and living longer, but the demand for NHS services are increasing and becoming more complex. The Five Year Forward View has a focus on strengthening access to high quality GP services and primary care - the largest point of interaction that patients have with the NHS. Digital innovation is key to bridging the gap between demand and quality GP services.

A key point to make is that digital and technology transformation in the NHS has revolutionised patient interaction. Digital technologies have seen a shift in the way people are choosing to transact. Consumers are voting with their fingers rather than their feet, choosing to transact via mobile apps rather than retail parks and high streets. This also translates to healthcare - there is a demand for convenience such as online GP appointment booking. With a growing demand for appointments, and the technology available to provide such a facility, this is a clear example of the importance of digital innovation.

Frontline Healthcare Workers Need Support for Innovation

Digital innovation needs to be wrapped around the needs of patients. Truly innovative approaches to improving care and/or improving efficiency through technology often start on the frontline. Healthcare workers who take care of the general public and use the systems created to support them on a daily basis, making them the most qualified to make suggestions for innovation. They understand what people want, look at the evidence and get a strong business case. They are most willing to roll up their sleeves and actively make beneficial changes to systems and platforms to improve patient care.

We believe that a modern NHS means clinicians need to be more tech-savvy than ever before, to be able to understand how to respond to gaps in facilities that could be bridged with technology and digital innovation. With the support of the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) - an NHS England Initiative delivered in partnership with Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN) - clinicians are gaining the confidence to recognise gaps and present innovations that bring greater patient benefit.

Technology for Improving Patient Care Pathways

There’s a lot of media coverage on data protection, but patients are happy to share their data when they know it’s for their own care. Focusing on building secure patient systems will increase their trust and confidence in how data is used in order to engage people in a way that resonates with them.

Our recent work with BeAble - a post-discharge system designed to improve patient-clinician relationships and the promotion of patient wellbeing - is an example of improving patient care pathways as it offers an effective solution to the problem of co-morbidity and poly-pharmacy. You can read the full case study here.

The Next 70 Years of the NHS

In the future we want to see more support for health professionals and not just through the entrepreneur leadership programme but also on the frontline, with basic digital awareness and training. Such training reduces the problems found in interoperability within healthcare as everybody receives greater levels of training.

At Bitjam we like to think that the future of digital and technology innovation in healthcare is a system built on recognition and response. We want our solutions to help everyone - patients and professionals alike - ensuring inclusivity, equality, diversity and control. We believe that the NHS at 70 shares these values and we’re looking forward to contributing the technology that supports all users of this unique healthcare system.

We’re always up for a discussion about any topics or blog posts we share, so feel free to join in the conversation on Twitter or drop us an email.



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