Working together for a digital future

NHS England’s Chief Digital Officer, Juliet Bauer,  examines achievements so far, such as developing patient facing tools and outlines plans for the future.

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In the spring NHS England will plan to publish guidance to help local organisations ensure that systems they develop or commission, to bring together patients’ information in one place and known as a Personal Health Record, are as high quality and connectable as possible.

They will  also release an early version of an NHS digital services manual drawing together new and existing design and development tools guidance, and begin initial testing of a single system for verifying the identity of those requesting access to digital health records and services.

NHS England are also building an open and connectable platform that will make it easy for innovative developers to plug their technology in to our single, joined up NHS app, and start making a difference to patients. The app will be live by the end of the year.

It’s clear that NHS England programmes are already having an impact on patients, helping them conveniently access the NHS and discover the very best advice and support so that they can care for themselves too.

Their role is to help these developments go further, faster so that we constantly improve the care and experience we offer patients.

There is also a new  road map for digital health and care services  which shows what has already been achieved and sets out time frames  for future improvements.

Further information is available from the blog post here  

 

 

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NHS and social care data: off-shoring and the use of public cloud services

This guidance sets out expectations for health and care organisations who want to use cloud services or data off-shoring to store patient information | NHS Digital

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These documents from NHS Digital aim to ensure that organisations know how to use cloud services safely and securely, particularly in relation to the introduction of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The standards will enable NHS organisations to benefit from the flexibility and cost savings associated with the use of cloud facilities.

In Brief:

  • NHS and Social care providers may use cloud computing services for NHS data. Data must only be hosted within the UK – European Economic Area (EEA), a country deemed adequate by the European Commission, or in the US where covered by Privacy Shield.
  • Senior Information Risk Owners (SIROs) locally should be satisfied about appropriate security arrangements (using National cyber security essentials as a guide) in conjunction with Data Protection Officers and Caldicott Guardians.
  • Help and advice from the Information Commissioner’s Office is available and regularly updated.
  • Changes to data protection legislation, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from 25 May 2018, puts strict restrictions on the transfer of personal data, particularly when this transfer is outside the European Union. The ICO also regularly updates its GDPR Guidance.
  • NHS Digital has provided some detailed guidance documents to support health and social care organisations.

The following documents provide more detailed guidance:

 

 

High-impact innovations for patient benefit

App that helps pregnant women monitor hypertension among new NHS innovations that will save lives and improve treatment | NHS England

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A wireless sensor that better detects breathing rate in hospital patients, an app to help pregnant women monitor hypertension and another that directs patients with minor injuries to treatment units with the shortest queues are among the latest innovations set to be spread across the NHS.

Eleven projects are being backed in the latest round of NHS England’s programme to develop and spread pioneering ideas, equipment and technology that have the potential to save lives as well as money.

Further detail of this latest round of the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) programme  can be found at NHS England

 

 

‘Data revolution’ crucial to transformation

A ‘data revolution’ across health and care services in England is vital if local areas are to transform the way care is delivered | NHS Confederation

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The NHS Confederation has launched a new series of guides to help board members to better understand data across the healthcare system and its role in transforming care.

Produced in association with healthcare intelligence provider CHKS, the guides for non-executive directors (NEDs) aim to kick start a ‘data revolution’ by looking at how data can be used to drive improvement, provide effective oversight and support the transformation of care. The first guide is aimed at NEDs in acute care, and examines activity in both primary and secondary care settings and considers the role of data sharing in bringing about efficiency savings.

Full document: The non-executive director’s guide to NHS data. Part one: Hospital activity, data sets and performance

 

Electronic Prescription Service saves NHS £130 million over three years

The transformative electronic prescription service (EPS) has managed to save the NHS £130 million over three years | NHS Digital

By allowing GP surgeries to send prescriptions directly to pharmacies, the EPS system, which has been developed by NHS Digital, has helped to save patients time and money when collecting their medications.

An audit of patients using the system found that 72 per cent said their medicines were ready and waiting for them when they arrived at their pharmacy, with the average prescription collection around 20 minutes quicker under the EPS system.

Over the past three years the system has saved patients almost £75 million and has meant patients need to make fewer return trips to pharmacies as a result of their medications being out of stock.

The time savings that EPS offers the average GP practice, allows staff to have more time to care for patients, particularly during the winter months when there is more demand for their services.

Additionally with more people falling ill over the winter period, EPS can help patients get their medication quickly and reduce the need for pharmacists to ring the GP about prescription queries.

The biggest savings were recorded by prescribers who saved around £327 million between 2013 and 2016, while dispensers saved nearly £60 million.

GP practices on average also saved an hour and 20 minutes each day by signing electronic repeat prescriptions compared to paper versions and an average of an hour and 13 minute a day by producing electronic repeat prescriptions compared to paper ones.

Other time savings for prescribers include:

  • Practices save an average of 43 minutes per day by not having to locate paper prescriptions within the practice.
  • Practices save an average of 31 minutes every day by not having to re-print lost paper prescriptions.
  • Practice staff save an average of 39 minutes every day by not having to wait for GPs to sign urgent paper prescriptions.
  • Practices save an average of 27 minutes every day by cancelling prescriptions electronically versus paper.

Full story at NHS Digital