If the gains made in recent months are to be consolidated and advanced, support from boards, clinicians and patients will be vital


An increased belief in and enthusiasm for digital communication with patients may have resulted from the past few months, but at a recent HSJ webinar all panellists agreed that wouldn’t be enough to bring about lasting change.

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“I think there is a lot of goodwill but I think we also need to understand that digital and change is about people,” suggested Lloyd Price, co-founder of Zesty – which supported the event. “We can have the best AI, the best machine learning, the best telemedicine platforms, but digital really is change and change is hard.”

What makes it easier, he argued, was buy in from healthcare providers, clinicians and patients alike. It was a point with which Professor Sultan Mahmood – director of innovation, integration and research at The Royal Wolverhampton Trust – was in complete agreement.

“I think the board and its relationship base with the frontline clinicians and managers are really important,” he said. “If that’s not in a healthy position, any change is very difficult.”

Building and capitalising on these connections was, he argued, a matter of starting two-way conversations. By asking what problems individual specialties or services currently have, it can be possible to see how digital might make a difference.

“Once you get the services to be having a focus on what could be different, tech is a really nice segue into that.”

To watch an on demand recording of the full webinar, visit here


How can the NHS further accelerate advances in digital communication with patients?