The Innovation Programme aims to do two things:
- Improve the way we use digital technology and good quality data to drive improvement within the Trust.
- Support proactive innovation and improvement across the Trust and allow the ideas of our staff to become a reality and make a difference for our patients.
‘Digital’ at Medway means applying the culture and processes of new technologies and the internet-era to respond to the rising expectations of our patients and staff.
‘Innovation’ means new approaches to addressing problems old and new.
Why do we need a programme that focuses on innovation?
Virtually every aspect of modern life has been, and will continue to be, radically reshaped by innovation and technology – and healthcare is no exception. Technology is continually opening up new possibilities for prevention, care and treatment. The NHS is a hotbed of innovation and new technology, providing improvements in the care we provide to patients which allows them to live longer and in better health.
What are the most important things the Innovation Programme will deliver?
One key aspect of the programme is the delivery of an Electronic Patient Record (EPR) for the Trust. An EPR is a system that eventually will replace paper records at Medway by 2025.
The EPR will be a major undertaking for the Trust made up of many incremental projects, staff will start to see a number of benefits as early as 2021. The configuration of the system will be designed by our staff: doctors, nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and pharmacists, as well as IT experts.
What will the benefits be for patients and staff?
Improvements to our digital technologies will deliver better clinical outcomes for our patients. Innovative technology and robust data and information, paired with the compassion and care of our staff makes healthcare safer for our patients.
We will make fewer mistakes as digital tools will make it easy and painless for staff to ‘do the right thing’; expert professionals will be able to collaborate more effectively; and we will be able to better target our healthcare to those who need it most.
Patients will have access to their own care records and be equipped and empowered to manage their own healthcare independently.
What have we achieved already?
The Innovation programme has already delivered a number of key projects for the organisation:
- We have secured the necessary investment to ensure our licenses for our servers and software are up-to-date, reducing the risks from viruses and cyber-attacks.
- We have increased the data storage we hold as a Trust, something that was slowing our systems down and frustrating staff in carrying out their work.
- We are in the process of implementing an innovative cloud-based telephony system with our suppliers, 8x8. This is due to be completed by the end of August 2020 and will improve the reliability of our switchboard.
- We have completed key upgrades to our PAS and key clinical systems like Extramed, to improve the speed and reliability of our IT.
- Two working groups have completed their fact-finding work on key digital tools, Extramed and Perfect Ward, to improve the user experience. Recommendations will be taken forward throughout the autumn of 2020.
- We have gained approval for a ‘Single Sign-On’ solution, due to be in place by the end of 2020. This was the number one priority identified by our staff when we conducted surveys earlier this year
- We are on track to deliver the Windows 10 operating system across all of our PCs by December 2020.
How can I get involved?
We encourage staff to step forward to make a difference for Medway. You can:
- Get started with any improvement projects
- Get qualified in QI
- Get funding for your projects.
What has COVID-19 taught us about innovation?
The NHS response to COVID-19 has accelerated innovation across health and care. From the increase in virtual outpatient appointments, to remote monitoring of ICU patients, trusts have delivered new services that would have normally taken months or even years. We will take the learning from what has worked well in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic to help clinical staff – and patients – to design our services for the future.
How will we organise ourselves to deliver all of this?
The Innovation programme is made up of five workstreams:
- Deployment of Electronic Patient Record (EPR)
- Enhance User End Experience
- Develop a 'System by Default' services
- Improve the safety of ‘Invisible IT’ (Invisible IT is the set of infrastructure, tools and tech that have become indistinguishable from your daily life, so ingrained with our day-to-day that we don't even reflect that we're using them.)
- Improve evidence-based decision making.