To realise the full potential of technology, ICSs will need to take a person-led approach and collect the right information in a secure and orchestrated way, writes Declan Hadley
As integrated care systems continue to develop across England, it’s vital that we ensure that the underpinning digital technology is fit: we want to be match-ready for the new health and care landscape.
Key to that is being able to gather the right information, in a secure, orchestrated way, and ensuring that when we have the information, we can use it as the basis for action.
From my 30 years’ experience in the NHS, most recently as digital lead for the Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS, I know that it can be hard to interest people in getting the basics right. They are wooed by AI and all the “cherries” that Heather Tierney-Moore talks about in the accompanying article. Yet without the key pillars of infrastructure, connectivity and security, it won’t be possible to realise full value from any technology and the information it offers.
A lot of the data that really draws insights isn’t necessarily inside health – it’s wider information that helps us to determine unmet need
This is particularly true for population health management. A lot of the data that really draws insights isn’t necessarily inside health – it’s wider information that helps us to determine unmet need. A lot of this is available from borough council data – it tells us who receives housing benefits, whether someone needs assisted bin collection, what their employment status is, whether they have complex social needs. If you look at the data for health all you see is the people using the system – what about the people who aren’t using it? How do we make sure we’ve not left people behind?
If you take a person-led approach and orchestrate and secure that data – and that’s Cisco’s contribution to this agenda – it’s so much easier to gain these insights, and to provide the real integrated care that must be everyone’s shared goal.
ICSs must put the basics in place to achieve digital transformation
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Secure data can help provide real integrated care