To make the most of new technology, the NHS needs a cultural shift

Written by Afshin Attari on 4 August 2017 in Opinion
Opinion

The health service needs to make sure its people are geared up for the data-rich future, according to Afshin Attari of Exponential-e 

For the Health and Social Care Network to be a success, the NHS requires cultural change among its 1.4 million employees, according to Afshin Attari  Credit: Adobe Stock

Today the NHS finds itself at a crossroads. On the one hand, never in its 69-year history has it faced so much scrutiny – from claims of staff shortages to a lack of beds. On the other, thanks to technological advancements, one could argue that, thanks to new technologies, there hasn’t been a more exciting period to truly modernise the world’s oldest universal healthcare programme. 

For me, the future of the NHS lies in what one hand can do for the other. Technology has the ability to revolutionise the health service, making it more efficient, enable the delivery of cutting-edge medical procedures and improving the patient experience. 

The ongoing move to the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) from the decade-old N3 is one of the greatest developments in the NHS’s history, because it can become the technological enabler the organisation has been crying out for. 


Related content


HSCN has the ability to effectively and quickly process and deliver data, relieving pressure on hundreds of trusts that have been reliant on ageing network infrastructure. It is also the chief enabling platform for new technologies and services which will not only make each patient’s experience better, but will ultimately save lives. 

But for a technology revolution to really take hold, a cultural shift among the NHS’s 1.4 million employees is required. Staff are used to a certain way of working and, like in any organisation, attempts to push through change can be met with resistance. 

The leading authorities that are overseeing the rollout of HSCN, have the opportunity to ensure that new technologies are utilised in a way that benefit NHS staffers’ daily work lives. This is of particular importance when one considers that the majority of people are employed to carry out critically important medical procedures – and could do without spending crucial time carrying out what could be described as admin tasks.

With patient numbers at a record high and set to rise further over the coming years, staff will be faced with an unprecedented amount of data to sift through as the move to the HSCN takes hold, leading to increased workloads. They cannot be expected to continue operating as they have been. 

But the NHS cannot enforce this culture shift alone. To ensure technology can be truly transformational, it must ensure that external businesses, that have had tremendous success providing cutting-edge technology to the private sectors, are entwined in the process. 

About the author

Afshin Attari is director of public sector at Exponential-e

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

GLA to revamp London Mayoral election website
18 October 2018

LondonElects wants partner to conduct full user research exercise before creating new website for 2020 elections

‘GDS’s future mission needs clarifying’
18 October 2018

A House of Commons inquiry into the work of GDS to data and the state of digital government has begun publishing its findings. PublicTechnology looks at what a range of experts have had...

Making Tax Digital VAT pilot goes live
17 October 2018

HMRC director says that new digital ways to pay tax will give businesses more control over their finances

Related Sponsored Articles

GDPR already isn’t working
15 October 2018

The policies may be in place, but is it happening in practice? BT's Bas de Graaf looks at the reality of GDPR today

Simplicity in a complex world
8 October 2018

Cisco's Dominic Elliott shows how global organisations can embrace the benefits of SD-WAN without adding complexity

Make more of your digital transformation with Intelligent Connectivity
25 September 2018

When it comes to digital transformation, you want your organisation to lead from the front

Government begins to "rightsize"​ its estate
17 September 2018

BT's Simon Godfrey on how government is fundamentally rethinking its strategy for both people and places