We all know the problems the NHS face. It has a maintenance backlog of £9.2 billion. Waiting times for A&E are higher than ever before.

However, optimists hope investments in technology will improve patient outcomes and efficiency.

The NHS long term plan sets out an ambitious vision for the future of our health service. Part of this includes using digital technology and NHS digital tenders.

Let’s dive into what digital healthcare in NHS England looks like.

What Is Digitising the Health Service?

Digitising the health service is becoming increasingly important to improve patient care, reduce costs and improve efficiency. As well as this, it also has other benefits such as enabling patients to take more control over their care by giving them access to data about their own health and treatment.

This can include things like booking appointments or sending messages to doctors via a smartphone app. The idea is technology can make the entire NHS more efficient and better value for money.

NHS and AI

The NHS Long Term Plan has identified Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a key part of its strategy to help improve patient care and treatment.

The NHS is already using AI in a variety of ways, including predictive analytics, which helps doctors predict when patients are likely to need care or treatment. The NHS has patterned with virtual assistants such as Siri or Alexa and chatbots to provide information on illnesses to all.

AI can also help make the NHS more efficient by reducing waiting times for patients through streamlined processes. In addition, it will enable more accurate diagnosis and treatment plans for individuals with rare diseases.

AI also helps serve those with conditions that require long-term monitoring of their health data over time. This helps them achieve better outcomes than would otherwise be possible without the technology’s assistance.

Finally, forms of artificial intelligence are even able to give emotional support during difficult periods. This is by recognising emotions through facial expressions or tone of voice during phone conversations with clinicians working within healthcare settings.

AI writing assistants are also likely to be able to make it easier for doctors to write up reports about patients and reduce time spent on paperwork. This time can then be spent on patients.

NHS Computer and Digital

The NHS Computer, also known as the NHS Mainframe System, was a fully integrated computer system designed to support the activities of an entire health service. It was developed by the NHS in the 1960s and used to store patient records and manage appointments.

In 1989 it was decommissioned after being replaced by an updated system called System 4.

After the much-publicised debacle to digitise the NHS onto a computer system in the 2010s and the hack in 2014 cybersecurity is widely acknowledged as the biggest threat the NHS faces.

NHS Digital now looks after the NHS computer architecture. They have several long-term goals.

One of these goals is sustainability which is now a key part of their agenda as the whole public sector leads the way to achieve net zero.

NHS Technology Strategy

The NHS technology strategy is a set of policies and plans. They will improve the use of technology in the NHS. It was developed by organisations including NHS England, Public Health England (PHE) and Connecting for Health (CfH).

The strategy is not a single document. Instead, it consists of different documents that have been published over time.

The National Information Board’s Strategic Framework (2020) for IT outlines how public money will be invested in information systems over five years. It also sets out plans for developing an improved health information system for patients and carers who self-refer. One of the stated aims was to go paperless by 2020.

Digital Services in the NHS for Staff

Staff will use various tools on their smartphones or tablets to access records while they are out in the field. Whether they are visiting patients at home or tending to them in hospital beds.

For instance, doctors can view an image of a patient’s scan on their mobile devices. This way they do not have to carry heavy equipment around with them all day long.

This saves time before each appointment. It also reduces the risk of travelling with machines that could break down in remote areas. Staff members will also be able to access patient histories from anywhere.

This includes both rural locations where fewer healthcare facilities exist. But also, urban areas with congested traffic jams. This makes getting around difficult sometimes without having access.

The NHS’s long-term plan provides an opportunity to set out how the NHS will collaborate with partners and staff. It ensures everyone benefits from better outcomes. This is through better joined-up services based on prevention rather than cure where possible.

NHS Digital Tenders Are Part of the NHS Digital Plan

The NHS Long Term Plan sets out an ambitious vision for the future of the health service. Part of this includes using digital technology to transform care for people. It will also make the health service more efficient by releasing more resources to invest in patient care.

The plan also aims to put patients at the heart of everything they do. This is so patients can access services easily and receive support when they need it most.

NHS digital tenders for private contractors will soon become standard for third-party companies working with the NHS as part of the drive for a digital healthcare system.

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