Data is driving the future of all industries, the NHS included. Patient self-care, enhanced experience and service efficiencies all hinge on data which is the key to NHS digitalisation.
The NHS has been battling with the complexities and costs of digitalising patient data for years and is undergoing huge transformations in this area. Electronic health records have had a huge push with the majority of healthcare organisations now using digital records.
Yet, data is much more than just a static record. True digitalisation and data-driven care should see all systems linked together, providing real-time information, in a central location, accessed from a wide variety of locations and devices.
This is a critical focus for the NHS in the next decade. Investment in transformation projects to digitalise records, integrating a wide range of legacy systems and new technologies, is happening in a handful of Trusts.
We will, no doubt, see more of these transformational programmes across the UK, which are ultimately aimed at improving data and collaboration. Two critical success factors of these programmes are access management and mobility.
Anywhere access for NHS
Secure access for staff into core systems from any device and location, is fundamental for digitalisation to work effectively. The data is only as good as its quality and accuracy. Providing clinical staff with the ability to view and input data immediately will increase data reliability and minimise data entry errors such as mis-interpretation of handwriting or unintentional typos. It will also ensure quick and knowledgeable diagnoses with all the important information to hand.
A well-managed Active Directory is the best and most secure way to deliver access to systems from all devices. It ensures that users are authorised to access the Trustâ€™s network. BDS Solutions has designed and implemented Microsoft Active Directory, as well as providing auditing and support services to a number of NHS Trusts.
Alongside its Directory Manager solution, which links together ESR, NHSmail and Active Directory to automate the identity information of staff, BDS Solutions understands the complexities in ensuring that technologies are supporting the digitalisation of the service, without compromising on security.
Data access management
With a drive to get patients back home after hospital treatment, home-based care, with the assistance of new technologies and mobile devices, will become increasingly commonplace.
Device and access management will be critical to success. Controlling of staff records to ensure new recruits are quickly provided with access and efficiently revoking access for those leaving the service is central to safe data mobility.
The data-era is an exciting time for the NHS. It brings a wealth of advantages for patient care, as well as staff motivation and productivity. Done properly, with the right support, the NHS will reap the benefits of a new digital, data-filled future.