What looks good should be “based” on the government’s data strategy


The new guidelines for digital transformation through the healthcare service are an opportunity to “leverage” the use of data to enable digital transformation, industry leaders have said.

Healthcare IT providers have welcomed the NHSX publication Orientation on what looks good but he said he could have “gone further” to set expectations around data policies, resources and training.

The guidance aims to build on the advances that can be seen in digital and data during the Covid-19 pandemic, providing local NHS leaders with measures of digital success that they should meet.

Matt Cox, managing director of Better UK and Ireland, said: “While these are simple clear measures to help establish good practice, we would have liked the recommendations to have gone further in terms of setting expectations around new data policies, data separation and withdrawal of vendor ownership “.

“This will be vital when it comes to the measure of success 7, in which emphasis is placed on longitudinal data. In our opinion, this is an opportunity to take advantage of the momentum of the draft data strategy to save lives to refer directly to the importance of open data to enable the digital transformation in health and care ”.

Cox adds that recommendations to consolidate spending, strategies and contracts within an integrated care system, made under “smart bases” in the guide, carry the risk of closing innovation.

Richard Strong, CEO of Allscripts, said the framework goes far enough to explain the “what,” but now trusts and vendors need to work together to deliver the “how”.

“Success measures, in particular those applied to ICS [Integrated Care Systems], will depend on open and connected systems. However, the reference to open data in the framework is notable for its absence, which I hope is not a sign of a setback in the positive commitments set out in the draft data strategy to save lives, “he said. to say.

“In general, I welcome the framework of what looks good. It marks an important step forward in helping healthcare providers move towards digital maturity, both internally and at the ICS level. When considered in conjunction with “Who pays for why”, I see that the promising foundations for the acceleration of digital health in the UK are being laid. “

The framework sets out seven measures of success that include whether the digital transformation is well targeted; ensures smart fundamentals; safe practice; supports people; empowers citizens; improves attention; and healthy populations.

The guide is expected to help individual leaders and organizations accelerate the digital transformation through the health service.

Andy Meiner, CEO and commercial director of Silverlink Software, said it was “crucial” that the NHS invest time and resources to train digital leaders to deliver on the ambitions of what looks good.

“As a company, we welcome the new guide published by NHSX, which describes how NHS organizations should drive the digital transformation,” he said.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us the importance of digital and data, and providing local NHS leaders with measures of digital success is a good way to ensure that we continue to build on the progress we have made in terms of standardization of the use of digital technologies throughout the health heritage.

“But while the guide represents a good starting point, it is critical that the NHS invests time and resources in identifying and training the right leaders to achieve their digital and data ambitions. Only then will we be able to maximize the potential for delivery. of health and care services ”.

“Freedom and flexibility”

According to an NHSX statement, trusts and other NHS organizations will be assessed on the basis of what looks good to help “identify their gaps and prioritize areas for investment and improvement”.

It is the first confirmation that NHS organizations will be assessed on their digital capabilities since the digital maturity assessments were launched.

In response to the publication of the guide Saffron Cordery, the executive deputy director of NHS providers, said the organization would look to work with NHSX to develop a trust support package to implement the successful measures.

“This guide is published at a time when trustees face a number of significant challenges: recovering elective care gaps, supporting the workforce, responding to Covid-19’s continued pressures, and implementing the long-term plan along with broader integration changes, ”he said.

“Therefore, in order to meet the NHSX’s seven measures of success, confidence in freedoms and flexibilities that reflect its local context and particular governance and accountability agreements should be given.”

The presidencies of the digital health networks have welcomed the guidelines, but have called for one clearer framework on how digital maturity will be assessed.

Dr James Reed, President of the Digital Health CCIO Network and Lisa Emery, President of the Digital Health CIO Network, asked NHSX to work with digital health networks to help shape how the guide can be expanded and adopted. of what looks good in NHS organizations.

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