In these unusual times, “leaving the house” are words that are only barely associated with shopping or taking limited exercise. The number of times that people go out to meet have been drastically reduced — both in leisure time and work hours.
Companies have adapted to the idea that the main ways to serve people are via apps, telephone and online services, rather than a more traditional face to face approach. The words “Teams” and “Zoom” are now commonplace in our language — even though a year ago many may not have heard of them.
We sometimes forget about the wide-reaching impact that this has had on our health care system. For some, leaving the house mainly involved regular visits to a doctor or consultant. Over the last year, this regular contact has not been allowed to happen.
Or has it?
NHSx, with the help of Hippo Digital, has created a number of digital playbooks to support clinical teams. The playbooks, of which there are currently 5, aim to help clinicians utilise technology that is tried and tested to diagnose or treat patients remotely.
This enables them to reimagine or redesign care pathways to solve real-world problems. The playbooks also allow teams to find out about challenges already faced by different NHS organisations, discovering solutions and best practices.
NHS trusts have adapted to the current situation by using a number of digital technologies:
- Remote monitoring
- Secure messaging applications,
- Introducing health care videos and virtual outpatient clinics
A number of these services have reduced patient waiting times, allowing more people to be seen when they need to be whilst also enhancing communication with patients and access to services.
So, do we need to leave the house now?
In so many areas of our lives, there are a growing number of ways we can utilise digital technology, which means we might no longer need to. The playbooks show that diagnosis, and some treatments, can now be carried out remotely, with less need to always meet face to face.
Adapting to our Circumstances
However, as humans we need social interaction; it is good for the soul. It is also true that not all treatments can be carried out on the internet (not yet anyway!). But we do need to adapt to the situations we find ourselves in. The use of the right technology, and how we share information with others, is critical in dealing with quickly changing circumstances.
The quicker we can adapt, the quicker we can provide services that are needed. Use of a robust CMS can aid this and speed up the time in which we can get content delivered to users, but we have to ensure that the quality and presentation of content is extremely high, otherwise, the message might get lost. People have to be engaged in what we say.
This will lead to the delivery of world-class services that people view as a reliable source of truth.
You can find more information about the NHSX playbooks here.