The Importance of Digital First Thinking in a Changing Health Environment

As the latest Health and care bill CEO Chris Barker, passing Congress Spirit health, Reflects the significant changes brought about by these reforms. Changes that define how the industry will be involved in the NHS in the future. And their digital-first approach is at the heart of them.

The recently announced new health care bill formalizes many of the structural reforms that have materialized over the last 18 months. It will also make a big difference in how the NHS makes decisions and allocates funds. This is outlined in three important areas.

1. Concept of the whole system

A new focus on system-based decision making means that provider organizations must have a positive stake in saving money on behalf of the integrated care system (ICS) as a whole. In short, you need to consider a wider range of considerations than before.

Digital has a lot to do with this agenda. This includes providing easy access to the profile of patients in need of treatment, identifying where there may be a pool of undiagnosed patients, and the possibility that the patient cohort is not receiving optimal care. Includes certain definitions of health inequality, or actually highlighting information gaps in staff or patients. ..

But in reality, it integrates existing non-digital structures. Therefore, it is integration that digital plays an important role in the thinking of the entire system. There are a huge number of digital solutions for individual pilots and projects. All we need is to talk to each other. Integration and interoperability are essential to enable systems to communicate seamlessly. So from the patient’s and clinician’s perspective, you get the right information, when and when you need it.

Another important consideration is that you can’t put digital data into a silo to create a “whole system.” Currently, there are significant differences within the NHS between skill levels and the comfort of digital solutions. To make progress, we need to invest in training and awareness of what “digital first” really means, as well as both governing bodies and institutions that provide digital solutions.

2. Transition to neighborhood and location-based planning

Another change is to break the line between primary and secondary care and support a more integrated planning process at the neighborhood and location-based level, and at the system level via ICS.

A digital solution that puts the patient at the center of care. Electronic medical records, which reduce data duplication between primary and secondary care and between community care, are key to information decision-making at the local and neighborhood levels. In addition, NHS continues to fight the long tail of the COVID pandemic, but digital solutions implemented at the regional and local levels provide vulnerable patients, patients with long-term conditions, and potential peaks and valleys in cases and hospitalizations.

The challenge for our healthcare system here is 44 different location-based systems and what neighborhood and location-based care really means when enabling community adoption and implementation. Is that different discussions can be seen. Digital needs to be a means of collecting, monitoring, and iterating some of these solutions. A digital way to assess what location-based care means to patients, their outcomes, and how they can be improved.

3. Population health

The final shift involves the NHS not only thinking from a disease management perspective, but instead focusing more on the health of the population.

Especially at the system level, the NHS will increasingly consider ways to support the entire population with specific health needs, especially by improving diagnosis and intervening early to prevent demand for professional services. ..

From the core principles of long-term planning, preventive medicine is now given the structure and mechanism to provide through the development of ICS.

Along with this, there is the issue of supporting value propositions that can demonstrate clear economic value by monitoring route fluctuations in cooperation with the system and realizing cost reduction. Data unlocked through digital solutions is an important success factor.

With so much data readily available, the challenge is how to interpret that data at the right time and in the right way for the health of the population. And looking to the future, we’ll show you how digital can make predictions, both regional and national, ultimately in terms of population health. This may not be what the NHS can achieve on its own. However, collaboration between industry and provider organizations can ensure the right combination of technical / digital skills and clinical knowledge to make a positive difference.

Digital first

No one yet knows if changes in work practices over the last 15-18 months may persist, but as operational stress increases, digital solutions help protect vulnerable NHS staff. It is clear that it has played an important role in. Similarly; from remote and home monitoring solutions for patients vulnerable to long-term conditions to virtual learning platforms to help others better manage their condition. Establishment of a virtual ward to manage early discharge after COVID.

However,”Digital-beginning‘Is important. To ensure equal access, we need to allow many options for other routes to care for. Technology is great, but access to health care must be universal.


There is a comprehensive need to embrace and support the new reality within the NHS. The urgency cannot be exaggerated. Change is here, it’s happening now, and it needs our attention.

However, the very important thing of managing this change well cannot be ignored. We must help people with many different and microcultures embrace a long journey. Both clinical and non-clinical workforces need to be skilled up to be as close as possible to digital natives. This is the only way to instill the idea of ​​digital first.

The Importance of Digital First Thinking in a Changing Health Environment

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