NHS organisations can save money and boost efficiency by investing in technology that is right for them. Data software solutions company Fortrus claims that investment in the right technology will play a key role in addressing the NHS efficiency challenge. However, there is a note of caution – ‘right technology’ is the key phrase.
“Virtually every system that we are called in to supersede is built by development professionals who build from the top down. They allow the data to dominate the user experience, resulting in a system that’s technically acceptable, but practically useless,” says Fortrus. “This costs organisations money and hours of frustration for staff that should be spent getting the job done.
“The health sector has fallen into the trap of development first, user experience second.”
A key example of this is the increasing move towards the digitisation of patient records. This does not simply involve digitising case notes and removing paper from the system, but to achieve true efficiencies from an electronic patient record system, should involve restructuring and indexing them to ensure clinical usablility.
When investing in project management, scanning strategies and underlying databases, how this digitised data should be presented to clinicians should not be a secondary thought. Data must be presented through an interface that meets the demands of the users and Fortrus recommends IT departments across the health sector should be asking questions such as how nurses will want to access patient records, when and how clinicians will want to do their pre-surgical checks when designing the system. “Working with clinicians to agree key clinical document types that are regularly accessed is essential,” stresses Fortrus.