How HSCN will drive the public sector’s digital journey.
Creating a migration pathway from N3 to the new interoperable network between health and social care organisations, the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) will be key to developing better links and routes for information sharing. With the end of N3 Connectivity, we take a look at why HSCN is so critical to the future of all organisations, not just the public sector.
Paperless, joined-up, progressive. Prescribing a digital rebirth for the NHS is easy. But driving up levels of patient care whilst simultaneously managing budgets that are tighter than ever before is a bitter pill for Trusts and CCGs to swallow.
For over a decade, the N3 network has been the foundation upon which health and social care has fought to harness the transformational potential of digital. And, although the arrival of HSCN positively disrupts on all fronts, it’s what is built on that foundation that will truly reboot both the patient and staff experience.
It IS that resilient, secure, and capable foundation upon which to build that better future, but HSCN can only be as transformative as the solutions and applications to which it plays host. Patients and healthcare professionals demand greater levels of responsiveness, choice and transparency. And, despite the delivery of those aims being traditionally people-dependent, Trusts and other healthcare settings up and down the country, digital technology is now the unlikely enabler.
Back-office efficiencies save time, paperless processes save time AND money. And the resultant increased capacity in the system has a direct and beneficial effect on clinical outcomes. But where the ‘why’ is easy, the ‘how’ is a little trickier. Digital enablement is not a healthcare professional’s sweet spot, but then you wouldn’t put a scalpel in the hands of an infrastructure engineer.
There is no doubt that digital has the capability to totally redefine health and social care. It’s about bringing the needs of all the stakeholders together and ensuring they are on the right scalable, digital journey. The most successful healthcare organisations are the ones who can anticipate and get ahead of change; changing patient needs, mitigation of risk from cyber threats, and a fluid economic and legislative landscape are constant challenges. The NHS provides critical services and must therefore have the confidence and ability to use the most innovative solutions and applications in an ever-changing environment. Connectivity, WiFi, unified communications, data storage, telephony, security – the full set of digitally-transformational solutions has the potential to change everything for patients, staff AND the taxpayer. And that HAS to be the desired outcome.
One area where digital has a significant role to play is the management of Electronic Patient Records –which are rapidly becoming the norm. The Sussex Partnership NHS Trust – for whom Daisy is a Digital Adoption Partner – delivers predominantly community-based mental health services and operates a ‘street triage’ team of mental health nurses permanently connected via tablets to the Trust’s EPR.
Working hand-in-hand with the local police, they respond to acute mental health issues wherever and whenever they occur; remotely and securely accessing the records, assessments and medication regimes of patients in crisis who would otherwise have been dealt within a criminal justice context. This is just one compelling example of how real, meaningful digital transformation can change – and save – lives.
All of us live in a digitally-converging world and our lives are influenced by many inter-dependencies; digital technology has the capability to bring them together for the greater good. Nowhere is that more important than in a health and social care environment. For the forward-thinkers and progressives, the HSCN is the new road on which that journey will unfold. It WILL transform things for them all -even if some at first need a guiding hand to hold.
This article was originally published in Public Sector Focus Magazine, September/October 2017