One of the most interesting aspects of the coronavirus pandemic has been the pace of change in healthcare services, including the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. The NHS has struggled under the burden of getting more pilots than British Airways for decades, with few digital ventures graduating beyond pilot point.
Yet, telehealth has expanded to the point within a month that 90 percent of primary care appointments were provided remotely, with applications being built to provide remote monitoring of patients as they track and treat their virus symptoms.
The 2018 published Data Literacy Index rated healthcare as the worst-performing sector in terms of employee data literacy.
“Data is capable of unlocking massive potential in the NHS, enabling more effective community population health, ensuring consistently high patient care standards, and managing critical medical resources in the face of rising demand,” says Jordan Morrow,
“However, the aim of using data to enhance NHS and social care is hindered by a ‘talent gap’ – a shortage of data analytics resources – that stands in the way of uncovering the rich insights needed to exist in the NHS’s own data.”
The paper reported that over half had been involved in either the development or implementation of an AI solution among clinical staff with AI skills.
This is important because the paper highlights how many AI startups overlook the importance of involving healthcare professionals in the early stages of their development, which hinders adoption when changes are then required at a more advanced stage
in order to cope with the realities of the operating environment.
Developing the skills
- Patient empowerment – with new tools enabling patients to take a more active involvement in their own care.
- Driven by evidence – with any introduction of new technology driven by evidence rather than hype or the latest trends so that stakeholders can trust it.
- Saving time – healthcare is a notoriously time-pressed environment, and so the adoption of technology should strive to return time to professionals to deliver better care.
“For example, clinicians may receive data on wait time within the Emergency Department to show whether they are on target or whether they will face penalties for those patients that weren’t processed within four hours,” she explains.
"This was definitely true of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which developed an Analytical Command Centre, a collection of large analytical dashboards located at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary site that provide direct access to key details such as ambulance status, demand changes due to patients being discharged, and
“Using data to drive decision making not only helps ensure that the insights provided are the most relevant and actionable for the frontline workers, but makes them feel part of the process," Gittings explains.Read More