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21 Mar 2024
by Dr Reggie Sangha

Transforming Patient-Centric Healthcare Through Modern Technologies

Guest blog by Dr Reggie Sangha, Medical Director at Content Guru

Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) connect NHS services, councils, social care, the voluntary sector as well as other organisations and play a crucial role in delivering more efficient, joined-up local services; but how can they best embrace modern technologies to enhance productivity, deliver better value for money and improve services?

Every ICS is unique in terms of its population and provider mix.  However they all face the common challenge of delivering efficiencies at scale from ever-reducing budgets whilst trying to meet heightened patient expectations, in pursuit of better health outcomes. Commissioners face the daunting task of driving integration of the entire health and care system for their area. Fortunately, technological and process advancements are on hand to help create custom solutions for each ICS’s geography and demography, such as GenAI.

Unlock Opportunities Through GenAI

Game-changing GenAI capabilities such as AI-enabled speech-to-text transcription, translation and call summarisation are expected to optimise clinical advisory services such as NHS 111, as well as helping with emergency 999 calls. In addition, AI-powered solutions will introduce time and cost-saving efficiencies across settings as diverse as community, in-hospital and primary care.

In clinical settings alone it is estimated that speech-to-text transcription will save up to two hours a day of clinician time, providing higher-quality and more comprehensive data recording into Electronic Patient Records (EPRs).  Reducing low-value time and effort in burdensome clinical admin and documentation work allows clinicians to focus on providing improved patient-centred care.  Clinicians are beginning to report on the significant reductions in stress and burnout via the use of these novel technologies across the pond in the US.

Unify Data to Drive Effective Demand & Resource Allocation

As well as embracing emerging, transformative technologies such as GenAI, it’s increasingly vital to get the most out of data. Data is often fragmented across multiple healthcare services, making it a challenge for both commissioners and frontline staff to understand true demand across a system.

A comprehensive amalgamated data set, collected from disparate systems of record and displayed as a single dashboard, could play a role in managing effective demand and resource allocation.

Centralised command centres leveraging data analytics and predictive modelling can anticipate surges in demand and enable commissioners to allocate key resources much more efficiently than has ever been possible. Demand Management Dashboards will enable command centre staff to predict and monitor capacity within the healthcare system and present the best choices for patient care, especially when demand exceeds supply.

Embrace Connected Devices to Enable ‘Hospital-at-Home’ Solutions

Reducing the amount of time patients spend in hospital is crucial and technology can vastly improve the ability to provide care from beyond traditional wards. Freeing up limited space for other patients, and reducing the risk of acquiring hospital acquired infections, are both huge benefits when it comes to Virtual Wards.  These enable patients to be supported at home via smart connected devices that keep healthcare professionals informed about the condition of a patient in their care.

Implementation of Virtual Wards for preselected patients with long-term chronic conditions will equip clinical teams with the tools to monitor larger patient cohorts cost-effectively and safely. An innovative approach allows clinical teams to care for patients through a wide array of communication channels such as such as automated text check-ins, and phone and video calls.

Generative AI, Integrated Care and Virtual Wards: The Future of Urgent Care Pathways

ICSs are under increasing pressure to further reduce costs, maximise resource utilisation, and increase efficiency while meeting increasingly high patient expectations. Transforming urgent care pathways will require integrating AI-powered capabilities and centralised command centres. Embracing these strategies and approaches will allow healthcare system leaders to provide more efficient and effective urgent care services to their communities, whilst keeping patients at the heart of care. 


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Authors

Dr Reggie Sangha

Dr Reggie Sangha

Medical Director, Content Guru

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