Digital technology adoption in NHS England is at a mixed level of maturity across 239 trusts, indicating that there is more digital transformation work to be done.
The digital maturity figures did not have data for a large number of NHS England hospitals, but the self-reported figures recorded for the 239 trusts on the readiness, capabilities and infrastructure of NHS England trusts paints a varied picture of how far the hospitals are with the digital transformation agenda.
Around half of the trusts indicated that they have a good level of readiness to plan, deliver and optimise digital systems to create a ‘paperless NHS’.
However, nearly all of those trusts have only what has been deemed an ‘OK’ level of current digital capabilities, and many have capabilities below 50 per cent.
The use of digital technology, particularly modern systems for information and data, is part of NHS England’s five-year business plan, so this mixed level of maturity could be a headache for those in charge of boosting digital technology adoption across England’s hospitals.
"Better use of data and technology has the power to improve accountability, choice and outcomes for patients, empower citizens to take more control, reduce the administrative burden on frontline staff and support the NHS as an engine of science and economic growth,” the business plan said.
“The development of a modern digital knowledge economy in health and care is a pre-condition of high-quality sustainable services.”
There are standout trusts, such as St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, both of which have good levels of digital maturity and the potential to act as role models for others to follow.
Equally, NHS trusts have the option to partner with major technology providers and tap into their expertise to drive digital technology adoption.
An example of this can be seen with Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which worked with HP to overhaul its IT infrastructure with digital data at the heart of a transformation across its two hospitals.
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