An interesting report from Nuffield Trust released last week about digital healthcare…technology and data. It covers the opportunities, but also the need for it to rise up to top level importance and NHS board discussions rather than be seen as “technology stuff”. It’s based on extensive interviews and case studies in UK, USA and other countries, so a good primer for new technologies in healthcare.
With an interest in new applications of data in health care, what I found most interesting was their Seven Lessons for Success, the first five of which rang very true, as ever the common denominator being creating the critical space where technology and people meet and develop together rather than doing their own things separately.
Their first five lessons
- Transformation first – don’t layer new tech on top of existing problems, transform, improve then use technology
- Culture change is critical, create a receptive environment, e.g. clinical champions for the new approach, not just tech dumped out there
- User-centred design, but not just built on user-processes (workflow) but actual thoughtflow (how decisions get made)
- Invest in analytics. ‘nuff said! Use data for learning, improvement and change rather than measurement. Opportunities and examples given in the main report*
- Expect to iterate. Learning cycles will be painful. You will get it wrong first time, but take two steps forward to one step back.
* “You need to invest in analytics to learn from data collected in clinical and nonclinical
systems. This is likely to improve operational and clinical processes as
well as population management and treatment optimisation. Sophisticated search
tools will help. You will also need a team of highly qualified analysts and data
scientists. This may not be a quick or cheap solution, but the potential for long-term
gain is enormous.”
Longer version with more examples