Let’s start a healthy conversation about – information management and technology within our healthcare

As we consider how we can modernise and improve the NHS services in Lincolnshire, information management and technology (IM&T) provides a range of opportunities that might help.

Historically, IM&T services have been established in the NHS to support separate organisations, such as our hospital trust, individual GP surgeries, and our commissioning organisations. This means that the ability for staff to be able to ‘read across’ these separate systems is limited, as access is often denied, or systems are not compatible.

We know from our engagement work with the public that this feels frustrating as a patient. Different clinical experts that you might see in the same week cannot see the same history of information, and this limited knowledge can affect the quality of care delivered.

In Lincolnshire, we have introduced the ‘care portal’, an initiative that allows clinicians greater access to patient information across all organisations, which improves the quality and speed of care, and reduces risk to patients. The care portal also saves time for our staff so that they can see more patients, and through such aspects as automated notifications, for example when a patient has been admitted to hospital, it enables clinicians to understand any risks or problems they would otherwise not have known about.

We are also focused on developments that directly improve the delivery of services to patients. This includes e-consultations, which are appointments delivered over the internet, still allowing the patient and clinician to see and hear each other, but not requiring lengthy travel to a physical clinic. Other examples include the use of wearable technology to promote and aid health care; a blood pressure monitor that submits readings to clinicians from the patient’s own home, support patients to manage their own care much more easily.

As we continue to work towards greater consistency and accessibility in health care across the county, we want to know how you want your health care delivered. How can we reach you in a way that is most convenient to you? What innovations have you experienced that we should consider?

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