Technology can increase capacity and quality at a time of cuts, says Chris Rodwell from Winscribe

With vast funding cuts and transformations taking place throughout the NHS, trusts are tasked with reducing delivery costs, while providing high quality care for the growing demands of patients.

Over the past months there has been much discussion over the future of the NHS, with the formation of sustainability and transformation plans and the Five Year Forward View indicating the continued drive for cost improvement programmes in the aim to close the funding gap of £30bn by 2020.

The increased need to save costs means trusts are looking at multiple methods, starting with the analysis of department performance to identify areas for additional resource savings. Some trusts are even sharing services with local authorities and community services in order to achieve this.

At Winscribe, we understand that this means more than just cutting resources, which is why we have invested in consulting talent to help trusts and STP leaders understand the positive financial impact of operational efficiency via technology and integration in the NHS.

With over a decade of experience working with technology workflow solutions, our healthcare experts understand how savings can be achieved while increasing capacity and quality. They also help NHS trusts to identify savings of at least £1m per annum for a small to medium trust and even more for larger trusts. Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust for example is saving £1.2million annually through the implementation of our Outpatient Workflow and Speech Recognition solution.

For the NHS to achieve the saving objective and improve patient care at the same time, trusts need to realise that a dependency on manual and paper-based processes reduces efficiency, and is more costly as this process compromises patient safety.

The time has come to relieve trusts from the inefficiencies of paper heavy and costly processes by speech-enabling document creation and eliminating process bottlenecks. Removing typing backlogs and streamlining the documentation process for clinicians allows clinical staff to have more time with patients.

We understand the significant impact workflow efficiencies bring to a trust. To prepare for a successful future, trusts not only need to look at the current challenges, but think about the times ahead by embracing technological innovations. By using speech-to-text technology, in cooperation with dictation and document workflow, patient communications are completed faster and more efficiently.  

In addition, supporting remote and mobile staff allows clinical staff to access relevant documentation on the move. These are just some of the efficiency areas trusts need to consider when working in partnership with a technology provider – acting as an extended team of the trust.

As a trusted technology partner, we continue to advise and inform trusts we work with on the latest cost reduction and process improvements around clinical correspondence. Our aim is to work alongside trusts in a long-term partnership to enhance processes that deliver efficiencies year-on-year and to nurture a culture of continuous improvement.

Chris Rodwell is healthcare manager at Winscribe

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