Technology In The NHS

May 2016

NHS NEWS

Country of origin: UK

The report 'Technology in the NHS: Transforming the patient?s experience of care' was commissioned by The King?s Fund and is based on a literature review; interviews with health, technology and futures experts; and a workshop with technology suppliers, clinicians and patient groups.

Technology in the NHS makes a number of specific recommendations for increasing the uptake of new technologies in the NHS, such as:

? Better communication with patients ? the NHS must respond to patient demand for the use of technology in health care. Managers and clinicians should target patients most likely to embrace new technologies initially, while at the same time supporting those who are less IT literate with more conventional methods.
? Stronger national leadership ? the DH must create a culture and climate that encourages innovation and technology adoption within the NHS. It should also ensure the recommendations of the Health Innovation Council are implemented; co-ordinate the activities of the various national bodies and agencies that have a technology remit; and make sure technology is considered an integral part of policy developments within the DH.
? Strengthening the NHS/industry partnership ? the NHS should work more closely with industry to improve the technology procurement process. This includes working with technology companies to help them build business cases for their products.
? NICE ? the technology assessments carried out by NICE should extend beyond a focus on drugs to innovation more generally and they should be increased and accelerated so that technologies from successful trials can be rolled out more quickly. More informal mechanisms are required for assessing the costs, benefits and risks of new technologies.

The King?s Fund?s Director of Policy Anna Dixon said: ?There are information technologies in most homes and pockets that could transform health care and the way it is delivered. These are not futuristic, these are technologies we use day-to-day. But when it comes to our health care patients aren?t even able to use basic technologies - whether it?s using email to book GP appointments or using the internet to view our medical records online.

?This has to change. The patient of the future, especially people with chronic illnesses like diabetes, will demand the use of technologies that make it much easier and more convenient for them to receive the care and treatment they need. Professional attitudes will need to change and the NHS will need to rethink how it interacts with patients and redesigns services around the needs of patients. Progress has been slow so far but these two reports show the potential prize new technologies offer for both patients and the NHS in terms of better care and financial savings.?

The report is free to download from The King's Fund website.

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