Digital innovations empower patient care

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During the last two weeks, interesting digital health news were published, as if they were a follow up on our article on enabling digital innovators in the UK. It becomes clear that hospitals in the NHS are gradually recognising the value of digital technologies and incorporating them into daily practices. Here, we will discuss a few of those.

Radiology Reporting Hub: Hospitals in the region of Cheshire and Merseyside had a reputation of offering a challenging patient journey. Particularly in radiology, images had to be imported from clinic to clinic, in a time-consuming and complicated process. Often patients would arrive at their appointment finding out their specialist did not have access to their images and could not decide on the right treatment. Meanwhile, workload among radiologists was uneven, leading to unsustainable work conditions. With the introduction of a Radiology Reporting Hub those issues have been majorly improved or even solved! The Hub hosts all patient images and is accessible for downloads by any clinician at any clinic at any time, thus improving workflow.

Digital Whiteboards: In 2017, the Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust installed digital whiteboards in the wards. These boards have now replaced the traditional ones, with added features that enable real-time monitoring of patients and display key patient information, such as certain vulnerabilities, nutrition specifications, discharge date and colour coding. A survey conducted this year showed their use has helped nurses manage and prioritise their work efficiently and has actually saved them 5,000 working hours per year!

Track and trace technology: One of the challenges hospitals face is stocking and the related costs. Looking to automate this process and reduce the cost and time needed from demand to supply, Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust has collaborated with Genesis Automation to develop a new track and trace technology system to help manage this process. The new technology will be fully implemented within 2019 and is expected to help optimise inventory and manage stock supplies, so no more operations are cancelled, and no more out-of-date stock or incompatible implants are used.

What will the next digital innovations in healthcare be? Stay tuned!