Public Sector Enterprise ICT

A lesson in crisis-enabled innovation

Conference: PSEICT

Case study: GP Practice digitalisation

Speaker: Dr Lesley Holdsworth OBE, National Clinic Lead for Digital Health & Care, Scottish Government

Positive Pandemic Push?

Even before the lockdown was announced, the Scottish Governments aspiration was to improve commonly held approaches to digital transformation initiatives, a typically top-down process, and instead make it a truly tangible public good.

As Dr Holdsworth stated in her keynote address, the pandemic has proved to be a watershed moment for public health digital infrastructure and architecture as intended timelines have been squeezed by the need to have new models of care brought forward in response to public health measures such as social distancing, a reduction in GP practice accessibility, and the rationalisation of hospital procedures.

Cue Microsoft Teams

As the spectre of lockdown grew stronger for the Scottish Health and Social Care workforce, one such fast tracked implementation was the scheduled introduction of Microsoft Teams to enable peer-to-peer communication and collaboration in order to limit as best as possible employee interaction and patient facing duties.

Teams quickly became the ecosystem within which 160,00 Health and Social Care colleagues were able to not only maintain vital communication lines with each other but with government ministers, third party practitioners, and patients.

Rapid Deployment 

As lockdown began to bite, the sector-wide implementation of Teams as the primary method of communication and collaboration meant that within a month it was supporting the exchange of 500,000 daily messages as well as the facilitation of up to 90,000 meetings.

From vital GP appointments which would have otherwise not been fulfilled and potentially life saving diagnoses given, to the sharing of patient critical information between health and social care practitioners, the value of this rapid deployment was evident.

Defining its legacy

Self-management and monitoring of one’s health has become a well-established pillar of population health management, with the pandemic having only served to reinforce this foundational element of modern healthcare practices.

Whilst key services have had to pivot the public towards self-management and monitoring of one’s health and wellbeing, this development is likely to persist post-pandemic, as free-at-the-point-of-use national health services look likely to continue the trend of rationalisation and out-sourcing.

Given that the new normal has as one of its key features social distancing, not to mention the market readiness for more solution providers in the health app space, general public acceptance may prove a more powerful influence than those who see this as a back door reduction in patient-facing services.

Join us at PSEICT 2021 as we continue to expertly map the GovTech agenda, the extent to which disruptive technologies are being integrated with previously techno-phobic services and the manner in which public and private sector organisations are collaborating in order to positively impact the lives of citizens.

Whitehall Media