12th June 2018 – When it comes to healthcare, all nations have one thing in common – to cope with an unprecedented demand for better care from both patients and professionals. Healthcare providers are increasingly looking for new technologies with many finding answers in the NHS, which has recently revealed a number of successful digital transformation projects.
This year’s Healthcare Innovation Mission to India saw Advanced champion its Great British innovative digital solutions developed in partnership with and deployed throughout the NHS, including Financial Management, Electronic Prescription Management, Spend Control and its new virtual health assistant mobile app Ask NHS. The event demonstrated how eager India is to learn from the UK and transform its healthcare system to positively impact the lives of millions of people.
Nick Wilson, MD of Public Sector, Health & Care at Advanced, says: “No health system is perfect, but every nation strives to drive efficiencies, free up time for patient care and save costs. The UK is no exception and the pressure on our NHS services has become a catalyst for change – one that requires technology to reshape how things are done both here in the UK and worldwide. As a respected developer of technology for the NHS for over 20 years, we have been working hard to ensure the UK is recognised as a leader in healthcare innovation.”
Advanced is working with NHS England and NHS Digital to introduce an Electronic Prescription Solution in integrated urgent care services. Following a successful pilot, the service is now being rolled out nationally. It allows patients seeking care out of hours or urgent care (such as walk-in centres and minor injuries units), or advice through NHS 111, to have their prescriptions sent electronically to a pharmacy rather than relying on paper prescriptions. This will mean doctors are freed up to spend more time on patient care.
In March 2018, West Midlands Integrated Urgent Care Alliance1 announced the results of a trial of a ‘virtual health assistant’ that empowers patients across the region to self-assess in preference to contacting a health service. Created by Advanced and Sensely, the Ask NHS app uses an evidence driven system based on statistical analysis to guide self-assessment of acute symptoms, the provision of self-care advice, and triage to the most appropriate services, all of which help to reduce the burden on overstretched NHS workers.
The trial is a positive step towards the government achieving Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Jeremy Hunt’s pledge, which is for every patient in England to be able to access their medical records and book an appointment with a GP via an app by the end of 2018.
In April 2018,One Health Lewisham, a federation of all 38 GP surgeries in Lewisham, signed a two year deal with Advanced and Sensely to deploy Ask NHS. It will enable general practices to better manage patient demand, reducing the burden on and saving time for overstretched doctors. The app will be rolled out across three “early adopters” – ICO Health Group, Rushed Green and Sydenham Green Practices – by the summer and One Health Lewisham anticipates it will initially be used by up to 77,000 patients. The 35 remaining practices are expected to adopt it by the end of 2018, in time to help reduce the expected rise in pressures on health services during winter.
Further efficiencies for the NHS can be delivered by Spend Control Management solutions recently acquired by Advanced. These solutions offer an electronic marketplace to NHS Trusts ensuring they can gain greater control on maverick spend and gain the economies of scale through volume purchases whilst ensuring its ever stretched budgets are protected.
Outside of the UK, and in addition to its trade mission to India, Advanced is working with ambulance services and healthcare bodies in Australia and New Zealand.