Advanced gets ahead in the Cloud at the Health Innovation Expo

Published 8/30/2018 by Ric Thompson, Managing Director, Health & Care, Advanced

As a trusted supplier to the NHS for over 20 years, we are really excited to be exhibiting at the Health Innovation Expo in Manchester on 5-6th September – the biggest NHS-led event of the year. Our attendance comes hot on the heels of our acquisition of Docman, a leading Cloud technology provider to primary and secondary care organisations managing paperless clinical documents.

Adding Docman’s Cloud software to Advanced’s strong suite of healthcare solutions means we can help back-office and patient-side professionals reimagine a more innovative, connected way of working and caring for patients. Ultimately, this means we have a more comprehensive offering to support the NHS in achieving its goals. We have automation to drive efficiencies, the Cloud to deliver connected patient services, and augmented intelligence innovations and virtual health assistant apps to encourage self-assessment and self-care significantly alleviating some pressures on the system.

The Cloud will unsurprisingly be a hot topic at this year’s expo. It’s a technology that is already reshaping a wide range of industries and now the NHS has cleared the public Cloud for use by NHS organisations. In fact, in January this year, NHS Digital published a Cloud computing guidance document to ensure that organisations know how to use these solutions safely and securely.

Six months later, the G-Cloud 10 framework (of which Advanced is a member), went live to enable Cloud technology and support services to be offered through a Digital Marketplace. It’s yet another reminder that public healthcare organisations should consider a Cloud-first strategy.

But we’re not there yet. Although the Cloud will eventually become the default delivery method for IT, there is still a long way to go in driving adoption and understanding. Research from our new Cloud survey, which questioned NHS and healthcare organisations, suggests that some are yet to adopt the Cloud. A third who responded to the survey have no experience in the Cloud while 66% wouldn’t even consider the Cloud as a first option when exploring new business applications.

In our experience too, adoption levels vary according to the type and size of the organisation. Most primary care organisations, which are effectively SMEs, have taken (or are taking) steps to move to the Cloud as they recognise it removes a huge headache. However, there is reticence from secondary care organisations, which are larger and have various capabilities. It’s these organisations in particular that are crying out for leadership in clinical informatics – one that can drive a Cloud-first strategy and empower the workforce to embrace this game-changing technology.

Our research, however, suggests this isn’t the case. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of our survey respondents said they need better support from their leaders if they are to take full advantage of the benefits of the Cloud. What’s more, 41% of healthcare organisations also said that no-one is currently driving adoption of the Cloud, suggesting that no single person is taking responsibility. The reality is that there needs to be a digital pioneer in every NHS organisation – someone who can spearhead digital transformation to ensure the Cloud is adopted with confidence.

Simply put, it’s about change leadership, not change management. Cloud adoption isn’t just about putting a new system in – it also requires social change and cultural readiness to be driven from the top. Only with the right clinical informatics leadership can Cloud adoption truly accelerate.

For NHS organisations yet to move to the Cloud, I highly recommend reading NHS Digital’s Cloud computing guidance document. It’s a great catalyst for creating conversations in the boardroom as well as bringing those less familiar with or scared of the Cloud into those conversations. Our Cloud whitepaper, which addresses the common fears to Cloud adoption, is also a useful reference.

And of course, if you are at the Health Innovation Expo, do come and speak to us about your digital requirements along with any concerns and challenges you may have around using the Cloud. We are here to help and, at Advanced, we strongly feel the Cloud can reshape the NHS to positively impact the way care is delivered to people living in Britain. Hopefully we’ll see you there.