In an effort to improve communication, boost staff productivity and create better experiences for patients, NHS organisations have been bidding for funds to overhaul their mobile and digital infrastructure. NHS England's first deadline for a piece of the £100m pie has just closed.
The £100m nursing technology fund was created to increase the flexibility and effectiveness of nursing, midwifery and care staff, with a particular focus on practical mobile and digital technologies. The goal is to improve communication, help staff do their jobs more easily, and improve the patient experience.
The injection of this amount of money means opportunities for the channel from the delivery of packages and services to in-depth consultancy. VARs and resellers can be valuable partners of the public sector.
The demands on the NHS have changed and intensified over the years, although the processes, technology and systems used by nurses and care staff have actually changed little.
Most nurses and medical staff continue to rely on handwritten notes and corridor conversations to communicate vital patient information, according a document sent to Spectralink in response to a Freedom of Information request.
Highly-trained health care professionals must be spending far too much time on administrative tasks, and they are being forced to use inefficient communication methods. They are not being given the tools to help them do their jobs more efficiently, in my opinion.
They use antiquated technology but are expected to deliver life-saving services. This must cause considerable frustration and increase the pressures of work for care givers, who clearly must see a need for improvement.
With the right tools and technologies, nurses can have instant access to the data they need to make better decisions for their patients. Mobile and digital technology allows doctors and nurses to move about the wards more freely, retaining real-time access to diagnostic alerts and patient data.
Integrating mobile devices with nurse call systems would further improve patient care, in my opinion, by alerting the appropriate nurse at the appropriate time, for example.
The funding announcement will be in February and the opportunities for the UK channel are long term. Some £30m will be spent this year, the remaining £70m in 2015.
Simon Watson is OEM and global alliances director at Spectralink
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