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What we learned from the Kings Fund online event

11 January 2022

Among fellow experts in the field, National Business Development Manager Terry Murphy spoke to 600 participants at The Kings Fund online event earlier this month to discuss the digital future of the NHS.

As we become more reliant on remote working, we are grateful for the readily available tools for adapting our professional lives. However, the industry has many obstacles in its way before digital adoption is fully implemented within the NHS.

The online event comprised of:

  • Mark Duman, Managing Director, MD Healthcare Consultants, and patient representative
  • Katherine Church, Chief Digital Officer, Surrey Heartlands ICS
  • Henrietta Mbeah-Bankas, Head of Blended Learning and Digital Literacy, Health Education England
  • Dr Annabelle Painter, Clinical Fellow-AI and Workforce, Health Education England and NHSx
  • Radar Healthcare’s National Business Development Manager, Terry Murphy
  • Danielle Jefferies, Analyst, The King’s Fund, and panel moderator (Danielle selected questions and comments from the audience, which consisted of NHS workers and healthcare professionals)

A pervading theme that was being communicated by the audience was that there is still a journey the NHS has yet to embark on. Uncertainty of digitisation along with the skills gap digitisation presents were highlighted as key hurdles that need to be addressed in tandem with technical progression.

Furthermore, the difference between ‘digital’ and ‘artificial intelligence’ has been conflated, with many expressing a need for clear definitions and explanations into what these new methods are and how they should be handled.

The audience discussed the topic of IT literacy, and how departments will be improved by digital methods without needing dedicated training to operate the new methods. Software and digital systems should be making these moves from paper-based to digital working easier for their customers, with in-built training where users can learn on the job.

There is a long way to go but one thing that the speakers agreed on was how much the people should be at the forefront of the movement, with a focus on leadership and mentorship within the NHS sectors.

The fact of the matter is that digitisation within the NHS will make processes quicker, safer and easier for all parts of the organisation. As Mark stated, digital activities are already a part of our everyday lives. What’s more is that the technology we now have readily available won’t just improve the lives of patients, but of clinicians as well. It is now time to put these systems into practice. Additionally, with leadership in place to guide teams through digitisation of their processes, the transition will be swift and positive.

We are thankful for The King’s Fund for hosting this online event, uncovering views of those within the industry and bringing important topics to light. Radar Healthcare is keen to show how digitisation, IT and AI will help overcome the key issues that the healthcare industry is experiencing.

Read more about jargon, the digital gap within the NHS and other barriers affecting the industry amongst other topics on our news and blogs page across the next few weeks.