Looking forward to the year ahead in healthcare

At the end of 2016, Digital Health Intelligence – a leading source of healthcare technology news and comment in the UK – asked Philippe Houssiau,VP and GM for Healthcare and Life Sciences in UKI and Netherlands, for his view on the year ahead.

Philippe’s remarks come from a UK perspective, but what he says has relevance beyond the UK and the NHS.

“The Wachter review, combined with the advent of Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs), will make for a recalibration of healthcare IT in 2017. We see four key themes.

“Firstly, digital transformation is becoming completely ingrained into the texture of healthcare delivery. We’ll see a continuing shift from deploying software products to enabling systemic change with digital services. The focus will be on improving clinical outcomes, personalising health services by better understanding and handling variations in care, and streamlining operational activity.

“Secondly, the thrust towards interoperability and open architectures will accelerate, and we will see an increasingly widespread push to introduce community-wide health records. The aim will be to achieve better end-to-end integration of health and care services across communities, which will be defined by STP ‘footprints’.

“Thirdly, a new layer of analytical tools will start to be layered on top of community-wide health records. This will provide healthcare leaders and policy makers with contextual insights, built on the back of population and patient data, and used to drive improvements in service efficiency and clinical effectiveness.

“Finally, we will see the recognition that NHS IT is built on under-invested infrastructure. With as many as 90% of NHS trusts still using Microsoft Windows XP, and almost weekly reports of major hardware failures, it’s time for healthcare CIOs to put in place robust infrastructure strategies addressing cost, efficiency, resilience and security.”

The Wachter Review is a far-reaching analysis of the current state and future development of healthcare IT in the English National Health Service (NHS).

Sustainability and Transformation Plans are being produced at the request of the NHS by regional groupings of health and social care providers, and are described as “place-based, multi-year plans built around the needs of local populations”.

Phil Hemmings, Product Marketing Director, Global Healthcare and Life Sciences, DXC

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