Electronic Document Management

This report from Digital Health looks at how electronic document management solutions are being used to improve access to patient information at the point of care.

Full detail: Special Report: Electronic Document Management

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Investing in health and care data analytics

Untapped potential: Investing in health and care data analytics | The Health Foundation

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This new report from the Health Foundation highlights key reasons why there should be more investment in analytical capability. The report calls for action and investment across the system so the NHS has the right people with the right tools to interpret and create value from its data. This could result in an NHS that can make faster progress on improving outcomes for patients.

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Image source: http://www.health.org.uk
Key points
  • The NHS generates a huge amount of data. Making better use of this growing mountain of information has the potential to improve care and how services are run.
  • Yet the NHS is failing to make the most of its data because there aren’t enough people with the right analytical skills to make sense of the information that is being collected.
  • More investment is needed in skilled analysts to unlock the full potential of NHS data to benefit patients.

 

Nine key reasons why there should be more investment in analytical capability:

  • Clinicians can use the insights generated by skilled analysts to improve diagnosis and disease management.
  • National and local NHS leaders can evaluate innovations and new models of care to find out if expected changes and benefits were realised.
  • Board members of local NHS organisations and systems can use analysis to inform changes to service delivery in complex organisations and care systems.
  • Local NHS leaders can improve the way they manage, monitor and improve care quality day-to-day.
  • Senior NHS decision makers can better measure and evaluate improvements and respond effectively to national incentives and regulation.
  • Managers can make complex decisions about allocating limited resources and setting priorities for care.
  • Local NHS leaders will gain a better understanding of how patients flow through the system.
  • New digital tools can be developed and new data interpreted so clinicians and managers can better collaborate and use their insights to improve care.
  • Patients and the public will be able to better use and understand health care data.

Full report: Untapped potential: Investing in health and care data analytics | The Health Foundation

 

General practice ‘tech manifesto’

The Royal College of General Practitioners has published its new ‘tech manifesto’ calling for a robust and joined-up IT system across the NHS.

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The manifesto recognises the potential of genomics, AI, digital medicine and robotics to potentially revolutionise patient care and improve patient safety but that widespread improvement will only be possible once robust, secure IT systems are in place for all GP practices and all areas of the NHS have access to computer networks which seamlessly link up the patient journey.

Related to this, the Health Secretary has announced plans to upgrade every hospital, GP practice and community care service to full fibre optic connectivity.

Read the Tech manifesto

NHS staff and parents to gain access to crucial child health information

NHS Digital | April 2019 | NHS staff and parents to gain access to crucial child health information

A new live service which enable access to important child health information at the point of care for health professionals has been launched by the NHS.

The service, the National Events Management Service, securely publishes information on key health interventions for children. Parents and health professionals can securely receive information digitally and use it to inform decisions on care and treatment, the service is the result of collaboration between NHS Digital and NHS England with IT suppliers.

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The service shows which preventative interventions a child has received; improving the speed of diagnosis and treatment by giving health visitors and parents access to the same information sources at the same time.

The service has initially launched in North East London in partnership with North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) and their health visiting and child health services. IT suppliers which already support the Trust have connected their products to the new service.

Full details from  NHS Digital

 

WHO Guideline: recommendations on digital interventions for health system strengthening

World Health Organization | April 2019 | WHO Guideline: recommendations on digital interventions for health system strengthening

WHO (World Health Organization) has recommended 10 ways in which countries can use digital health technology, accessible via mobile phones, tablets and computers, to improve people’s health and essential services. The document Recommendations on digital interventions for health system strengthening

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Image source: apps.who.int

The key aim of this guideline is to present recommendations based on a critical evaluation of the evidence on emerging digital health interventions that are contributing to health system improvements, based on an assessment of the benefits, harms, acceptability, feasibility, resource use and equity considerations. For the purposes of this version of the guideline, the recommendations examine the extent to which digital health interventions available via mobile devices are able to address health system challenges at different layers of coverage along the pathway to universal health coverage (UHC). By reviewing the evidence of different digital interventions, as well as assessing the risks against comparative options, this guideline aims to equip health policy-makers and other stakeholders with recommendations and implementation considerations for making informed investments into digital health interventions.

This guideline urges readers to recognize that digital health interventions are not a substitute for functioning health systems, and that there are significant limitations to what digital health is able to address.

  • birth notification via mobile devices
  • death notification via mobile devices
  • stock notification and commodity management via mobile devices
  • client -to-provider telemedicine
  • provider-to-provider telemedicine
  • targeted client communication via mobile devices
  • digital tracking of patients’/clients’ health status and services via mobile devices
  • health worker decision support via mobile devices
  • provision of training and educational content to health workers via mobile devices (mobile learning-mLearning)  (Source: WHO)

Full details from WHO

Use of mobile applications in the management of overweight and obesity

Alnuaimi A, Rawaf S, Hassounah S et al. | Use of mobile applications in the management of overweight and obesity in primary and secondary care | Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine | 5 April 2019

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This systematic review involved searching electronic databases for studies on the use of mobile app-based interventions in the management of overweight and obesity among adults over 18 years of age in a primary and secondary care setting. The results of the review revealed that mobile apps are effective tools for weight loss management and sustaining such loss when compared to standard interventions.

However, further research is needed to consider the sustained benefits and the applicability of mobile app-based interventions for large-scale population coverage.

Full document at Sage Journals

NHS App pilot research findings

This report presents the findings of research carried out during the pilot phase of the NHS App roll out. The research was used to test and improve the user experience of the NHS App, and to plan effective support for GP practices as the app is rolled out across England | via NHS Digital

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In late 2017, it was decided that the NHS would develop an app that all patients in England could use to carry out a series of important tasks, such as booking GP appointments and ordering repeat prescriptions. Since then a team of staff from NHS Digital and NHS England has been working to develop, build and test the NHS App.

This report contains the findings from the pilot phase, drawn from analytics and what was found during research with users and GP practices.

Full report at NHS Digital