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Clinical Engagement and the future of a digital NHS

News   •   Feb 24, 2016 11:50 GMT

US professor Robert Watcher's review of the NHS's digital future will have a particular focus on clinical engagement and IT implementations.

Robert Watcher has launched his review of IT use in the NHS, looking at lessons that can be learned as the health service moves towards  a "digital future".

The review first announced by health secretary, Jeremy Hunt last October, will have a particular focus on "issues around successful clinical engagement with implementation".

The review will inform the English health and care systems approach to further implementation of IT, particularly the use of electronic health records and other digital systems within the acute sector, with the aim of achieving paper-free health services by 2020.

The Watcher review due to be published in June 2016, will set out a series of recommendations, "drawing on the key challenges, priorities and opportunities for the health and social care system".

The review was launched as the department of health announced a £4.2 billion investment in NHS technology.

At Fortrus we agree that for successful IT implementations, clinical engagement is of paramount importance. We believe that to build software for people, you've got to work with people.  Our customers aren't robots, they are people and people need beautiful user interfaces that reward extended usage, not punish it.

Thats why we employ highly skilled Innovation officers to work alongside the end user throughout our complete systems development and deployment.

Constant innovation is what drives us at Fortrus and our customers are a fundamental part of the process.  Our specialist innovation team are always on hand ready to brainstorm, build and test bespoke new technologies alongside our clients.

The health sector has fallen into the trap of development first interface second. Often, interface design is viewed as a mere exercise in aesthetics; making the application look slightly less ugly than the systems they operate on. This is an assumption that is understandable, but for IT departments in healthcare that are often under resourced and development focused, it can lead to disappointing results and in cases, outright failure. 

A key instance of this, and one that we see often relates to the increasing move towards the digitisation of patient records. Hospitals nationwide are spending vast sums of money on project management, scanning strategies and the development of their underlying databases, yet leaving the question of ‘how do we present this newly digitised data to clinicians?’ as a secondary thought. 

Yet what is the use of digitised data if it is not presented through an interface that first and foremost meets the demands of the users? Would a clinician rather do their pre-surgical checks on a mobile device in the operating theatre, or on a large desktop PC in their office? Will nurses need to sift around for patient records on various sub-systems, or should they be presented with seamless access to all the information.

Fortrus was founded with a solid commitment to adopting a ground up approach, working with the users, understanding their problems and building beautiful, intuitive solutions. 

Joe Panasiuk, Chief Innovation Officer at Fortrus ltd 

"One of the most satisfying aspects of my role as Chief Innovation Officer for Fortrus is that I am able to engage with our customers throughout the entirety of the solution delivery. This often means that I am on the ground with clinicians talking to them and gaining real-time feedback about the work we do. It is often the case that time savings, reductions in operating costs and increased levels of communication are immediate effects of the successful application of user interface design. Yet perhaps the most pronounced being the ability of good design to empower. There is nothing more rewarding than using technology such as mobile devices to reduce the burden of administrative work for those on the front line of the healthcare sector. Good design frees up time so they can ultimately do their job, their passion. The effect this has on the moral of staff and the wider well being of the trusts is a trait that should not go unnoticed and holds significant benefit in its own right" 

For Further information please contact:

Leigh Baillie

Chief Marketing Officer

Fortrus Ltd

+44 7894 517828

Leigh.Baillie@fortrus.com

www.fortrus.com

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