The challenge for the NHS to do more for less is well recognised. The continued funding squeeze, rising demand and the need to safeguard quality, combine to exert pressure across the entire system, with none of these factors likely to abate. There is now wide consensus that health care needs to change to meet these demands.
Mobile workforce technology can help to respond to the pressures and enable change. However despite the potential benefits of technology, it is generally acknowledged that its adoption within the health care sector is slow and disparate. Back in 2004 the Healthcare Industries Task Force described the NHS as ‘a late and slow adopter of technology’. The NHS Next Stage Review interim report in 2007 emphasised the importance of technology in the NHS and highlighted the role that technology can play in improving health outcomes. More recently in October 2014 the NHS five year forward view, by NHS England, stated as well as the gadgets we use, change will be as much about different ways of working and relating to each other, adding that future solutions will involve rethinking how health care is organised and delivered with technology playing its part.
The principal barriers that influence decisions to adopt technology revolve around several factors including the procurement process and the availability of both financial and organisational resources.
The procurement process within the NHS is highly complex, presenting many barriers to the adoption of technology. These include multiple points of sale, extended and complex procurement processes, and a tendency to focus on ‘least cost’ rather than ‘best value’.
With the creation of the Crown Commercial Service G-Cloud Digital Marketplace, the procurement process within the public sector has been simplified.
The G Cloud Framework can be used by organisations across the UK public sector including central government, local government, health, education, devolved administrations, emergency services, defence and not-for-profit organisations.
Organisations such as Kirona are pre-selected as approved suppliers, thus speeding up the procurement process for many organisations.
Kirona have enabled social care providers such as North Lanarkshire Council to improve their quality of health and social care service, whilst also saving in excess of £1.5m. By implementing Kirona’s digital workforce solutions across its Housing Property Services and Home Support Services the council have been delighted with the outcomes. Together with the impressive cost savings the council has also improved the service for patients receiving care at home via the Home Support Team, as well as their social housing tenants. Added to this they also have the full support of their workforce who have experienced improved efficiencies in their day to day roles.
Healthcare providers looking to improve their workforce productivity, streamline processes, increase the quality of patient care can achieve these objectives through Kirona’s suite of digital workforce software. Firstly, DRS Scheduler optimises the working day of each healthcare professional, by enabling home visits to be appointed in the optimum way. Dynamic intra-day scheduling allows for emergencies and exceptions to be taken in your stride. Kirona also enable field-based workers to remain connected through their Job Manager mobile application that provide them with the information they need to deliver patient care. These mobile applications also reduce paperwork by capturing information in the field directly into centralised systems.
Kirona’s InfoSuite management information software provides true insight across the entire operation enabling continuous improvement.
Added to this Kirona also offer Mobile Device Management software, which enables your organisation to manage, monitor and secure mobile devices and data within the organisation. So if a healthcare worker has confidential data on a mobile device and that device is lost, it can be locked remotely thus ensuring the data remains secure.
By adopting technology such as Kirona’s digital workforce solutions Hospitals, Trusts and NHS Services can drive greater efficiency in the services they deliver, reducing unnecessary travel time, cutting paperwork and delivering a far better patient experience.