With the NHS continuing to reduce the burden of in-house treatment, the introduction of community care services enables those who need care and support to live with dignity and independence in the community. Aimed to support the elderly, those who have a mental illness, learning disability or physical disability, community care can help alleviate in-hospital or GP treatment pressures. This approach was created with efficiency in mind but providing adequate care can be made difficult if those willingly to help do not have the right technology tools to meet high demand and expectations.
Under the newly elected Government, GPs may have to provide same-day appointments for the elderly and while £8bn may provide the NHS with a way to survive for the next five years, the new Government has promised a seven day access that could increase pressure of already hard tasked A&Es. With limited beds, appointments and on-hand staff, the healthcare industry will need to continue to find ways to be operationally efficient.
Funding and resources will be key to the success and this is where equipping staff with the right technology to help clinicians and community carers to outside of the hospital or GP could not only help reduce in-house pressures but also help better treat patients in a comfortable environment.
‘Connected’ health – the use of technology to manage patients outside of the practice or hospital, will require high performing important enablers, such as smart phones and tablets, sensory technologies and real-time data processing and analytics. This approach can not only realise cost savings and faster treatment, it can also lead the way for new methods of innovative treatment.
The channel can play a dynamic role in educating key decision makers within the healthcare industry on the emerging technology solutions available to them to reduce costs and inefficiencies and help to implement cutting-edge technology and train staff to aid the overall digital transformation journey.
How technology can future proof the healthcare industry
Nurses and clinicians that are providing community care or needing to visit patients at home need fast and reliable access to specific applications and patient data, securely, in and outside of the GP of hospital. There must also be a way to capture information using the applications and devices, across the practice or hospital so that those accessing the information have real-time information before administering medication or treating the patient.
Additionally, as patient records become digitally accessible, interoperability will be imperative to the process.
The healthcare industry can look to their technology infrastructure as a way to ensure they remain highly efficient and effective. A digital transformation will not happen overnight, and by no means must they need to go through a complete overhaul. Through research, there are solutions that are not only providing the best in breed technology, but are affordable and interoperable with existing infrastructure.
One such way is by modernising the network. By providing a high performing and optimised network that will enable faster and more agile connection to life-saving applications, in tandem with visibility into how, when and where applications are most used, hospitals and GPS can provide a rafter of benefits:
- Provider faster access to applications and data efficiently, anytime and anywhere for clinicians, nurses and volunteers
- Enable collaborative working in the delivery of care and health provided by volunteers throughout the patient journey from NHS Trusts to community and home locations
- Implement new models, approaches and processes of providing total patient care using information provided by individuals throughout the patient pathway
- Develop and manage talent pools of workers and volunteers, with instant access to the workforce
- Reduce time-consuming paper-work administration, missing paperwork and ‘misreading’ errors
In order to see the true value of a super-fast network infrastructure and justify the return of investment from the cost of implementation, something that healthcare organisations are increasingly scrutinised over, a data analytics tool is required. A network-powered application analytics and optimization software solution will help to capture network data and aggregate, analyse, correlate and report on it, to enable better and more strategic decision-making.
Such a solution can help to provide visibility and control of applications and websites resident in all parts of the network (wired or wireless edge to private and public cloud) to determine which applications on what devices are most used and help to enhance security for those applications. This knowledge can then be used, by the IT department, to determine which applications must be accessible at all times and which may no longer be necessary – thus helping to ensure bandwidth is optimised and reserved for specific applications and costs can be reduced. This empowers IT to turn the network into a strategic asset that can provide the practice or hospital with valuable insight to make smarter decisions.
The opportunity in healthcare digital transformations
With the healthcare industry gradually implementing technology, there will be a need to gain, collate and analyse this data to obtain better insight into patients, treatment regimens and their effectiveness. This presents an opportunity for the channel within a market valued at $21,346.4 million by 2020. For partners, it will be vital to provide best-in-breed technology and more importantly unrivalled customer experience. Enabling customers within healthcare to utilise the best tools by providing on premise support and training must become a given service. Working with vendors that have this understanding is imperative to offering a competitive advantage.