Reset not Recovery: Supporting the NHS Reset Campaign
By Chris Yeowart, Director, Wellbeing Software.
Over the next few weeks, the priority for the NHS is not just about returning to the way things were before; we must build on the progress made to chart a new course. As a result, NHS Confederation has launched a new campaign, NHS Reset, which will contribute to conversations on what the healthcare system should and will look like post-COVID-19.
The current health pandemic has highlighted more than ever the crucial role that digital technology plays in healthcare. From video GP consultations to infection tracking and tracing, technology has been playing a vital role in keeping the global healthcare system running since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Here at Wellbeing, we’ve been working hard to develop our solutions to respond to the needs of healthcare practitioners and patients during the pandemic, as well as looking at ways in which we can shape these services to support the NHS Reset campaign.
Digital Consultation and eConsent
Electronic consent has played a significant role in keeping patients and clinicians safe during the COVID-19 outbreak and it has been widely acknowledged as an important component of the NHS in the ‘new normal.’ That is why we are proud that our innovative, clinician-led digital solution eConsent is playing a role in making digital consent a permanent part of NHS services.
As normal services resume across the NHS, the aim will be to minimise any unnecessary time patients spend in hospitals for their procedures. Digital consultations and eConsent allow everything to be organised in advance, so that when a patient arrives, they can move seamlessly through the treatment process.
Mr Stephen Lake, Consultant Surgeon at Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust recently spoke to Elemental TV about the role of digital consultation and eConsent during the crisis and the direction of the NHS beyond the immediate threat. You can watch the full interview here.
Virtual Maternity Care
Early on in the pandemic, we recognised the need to adapt our Euroking and Euroking Connect solutions to be able to continue to provide the same quality of care to expectant mothers. With face-to-face appointments no longer considered a safe option, we worked hard to develop our Euroking Maternity Information System in response. This involved releasing a new clinical update into all our Euroking systems to identify patients with either suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
The clinical update also included a virtual appointment facility, which enables the remote working clinician to perform their regular tasks on Euroking and have access to the same records as if they were in the hospital.
We also adapted Euroking to capture the latest UKOSS surveillance, including patients admitted to hospital with confirmed COVID-19 infection during pregnancy. All of these updates were provided at no additional charge to our customers, and as the NHS works to lock in the digital advancements made in maternity care, we hope Euroking and Euroking Connect will play a role in this process.
Remote Radiology Reporting
A key theme of NHS Reset is a hesitancy to go back to the ‘old way’ of doing things and one area which we see being transformed is radiology. Remote reporting breaks geographical boundaries and allows radiologists to review scans from remote locations, for example if they are working from home. Furthermore, our solutions enable radiologists and resources across different organisations to collaborate and maximise access to scarce or specialist skills, therefore optimising imaging and reporting capacity within a region. Our Cris and Cris Connect solutions can make this a permanent reality.
Additional benefits can be derived from the introduction of AI to ease the reporting backlog and help prioritise cases requiring a more rapid response. A growing number of algorithms are available via our AI Connect Marketplace, and we have the skills to help integrate algorithms of your own choosing.
Cris is the most widely used RIS in the UK and manages all departmental workflows, from patient check-in through order comms to GP and patient feedback. Employing efficient and connected workflows is going to be key in successfully locking down the advancements that the NHS has already made in remote healthcare.
Patient Data Management
Patient data has been a critical component during the COVID-19 pandemic as a means of tracking viral spread both at a local and national level. Access to this information helps identify vulnerable populations and ultimately reduces the number or length of hospital admissions.
We understand the vital role data plays for the NHS, not only to track new diseases but also other health trends across entire populations. Our Data Management Services support organisations by extracting anonymised data – governed by appropriate permissions – from GP systems to help shape local health and social care services. Notable projects include working with the University of Surrey and Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to monitor national respiratory and communicable diseases on behalf of Public Health England.
An opportunity for positive change
Here at Wellbeing, we see the challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak as an opportunity to profoundly change the way healthcare is delivered in the UK. The pressing need to adopt technology solutions is a chance to make significant progress in embedding digital technologies into clinical care across the NHS.
We have been playing a role in helping to achieve digital transformation in the NHS since well before the pandemic, and we want to use our expertise to play a part in redefining policies and helping Trusts create positive cultures through new ways of working post COVID-19.