The recent Digital Hospitals Conference by Convenzis focused on this period of rapid scale-up innovations in the healthcare sector that posed new challenges for patients and staff across the United Kingdom. Insightful conversations and debates happened on the topics of staffing and tech equality, innovation and AI, tech leadership and development, coordination, and interoperability.
Simon Ronald, Director of Business Development at ACF Europe, contributed to the speakers' session by talking about how the COVID-19 National Booking Service has been deployed in only 4 weeks and received positive feedback. His presentation is available to watch here.
Here are some key takeaways from the conference that are worth considering:
Key takeaways from the conference
1. Continued challenge due to increasing backlog of patients
NHS backlogs and waiting times worsened with the pandemic, creating a large number of 'missing patients', estimated by the National Audit Office to be between 240,000 and 740,000, that may return now that the crisis is moving towards the endemic state. At the end of 2021, England hit the record number of 5.8m people waiting for hospital treatment. This situation puts the NHS and the whole healthcare sector in need of an effective solution and a sustainable strategy to manage patients' appointments and waiting times.
2. Need for a long-term vaccination strategy
Another crucial long-term approach that is needed is the one toward vaccinations. Having a centralized system to manage all vaccination appointments, types of jabs available, and special patient needs could alleviate unneeded pressure on the entire NHS system.
3. Video appointments are here to stay
Video appointments have been mentioned several times during the case study sessions and it is clear that they provide value both to organisations and patients. They reduce travel times and stress and enable flexible working, which allows staff to spend more time with patients to deliver the care they need at the highest standards.
If you want to dive deeper into these themes you can listen to one of the latest episodes from CX Insider, the customer experience podcast sponsored by ACF Technologies. Maneesh Juneja, Digital Health Futurist, talked about the future of patient experience, key trends and challenges in the healthcare sector, and how to apply customer experience principles to healthcare.