Modern healthcare services require far more than medical knowledge to run smoothly and deliver high quality of care to patients that they deserve. One of the most important elements of any healthcare service is technology, which takes on a variety of vital roles in and around the healthcare setting. The importance of technology for healthcare goes far beyond what most people are aware of.
In this article we will explore the current state of technology in the NHS, why technology is important for healthcare and how private sectors can help improve UK healthcare with the use of technology.
The NHS has announced a budget increase!
At the end of October, the NHS announced a budget increase of £5.9 billion that will go towards cutting waiting lists. Specifically, the money will be used to improve IT and technology that is currently being used in NHS services. Bringing in new machines and improved IT services could be an extremely new efficient method to train new staff and help decrease the NHS waiting lists.
According to data integration engineers Gravity Data, improving the technology available within the NHS will allow staff to spend “more time analysing data”, instead of dealing with infrastructure or conducting lengthy procedures themselves which will lead to faster diagnosis and shorter waiting times.
Why is technology so important in the NHS?
Technology has the potential to deliver significant savings to the NHS. These savings could be seen in several areas including waiting list times, diagnostic errors, staff onboarding, patient support and emergency services. In fact, technology has its uses just about everywhere in the NHS!
Despite recent innovation that has propelled the NHS into a more technology-based system, there are still a number of improvements that must be made.
The NHS deals with thousands of severe medical cases every single day. This means that the technology used in the services is often at the centre of life-or-death situations. For this reason, it is vital that the NHS continuously update and improve their technology offerings, to provide patients with the best possible chances of medical recovery.
How can technology in the NHS be improved?
The announcement of the new budget has raised hopes that the NHS will adopt better technology into their services.
The best way that the NHS can improve their tech is to invest in more powerful machinery that can deal with large amounts of data at once. This would make the process of screening, recording data and diagnosis much faster, which would reduce waiting lists.
Experts have also called for electronic self-discharge services, the electronic transfer of records between practises and to improve the speed and reliability of the NHS net.
When reviewing suggested improvements, it's easy to notice that the majority of suggestions focussed on the improvement of technology. However, the NHS is a huge service that spans the entire UK. This means that updating technology services could take a very long time, so patient waiting lists will remain lengthy for the foreseeable future.
How long is the wait for NHS Diagnostic Scanning?
According to NHS England, hospitals are meant to treat patients within six weeks when it comes to accessing diagnostic tests. However, there are currently more than 306,000 patients waiting longer than six weeks for a diagnostic test, namely down to the massive disruption the NHS suffered throughout the pandemic and UK’s two national lockdowns.
The Covid backlog having stemmed from 2019, sees waiting lists doubled in some parts of England with a 28% increase from the middle of June 2019. While some of these waiting lists are namely due to consequence out of human control, 15,000 people waiting longer than 13 weeks for an MRI scan can be consequential at the least. So, who can we turn to help?
Private healthcare services can help!
As NHS waiting lists continue to grow, private healthcare services could do their bit to help.
Many NHS patients are currently waiting for the results of diagnostic tests. In the meantime, private healthcare providers could offer services that will ensure the patients don’t harm themselves any further and provide them with the support that they need during this challenging time. One of the best ways that private services can help the NHS is to run tests and perform screenings with their own technology. Private firms often have higher budgets so can afford the best technology. Use this to your advantage and help the NHS.
Other ways that private sectors can help the NHS on its technological journey is to gift unwanted tech (or tech parts) to the services so that they can be used for patients. By helping the NHS to improve their technology, you could increase the reputation of your own company and know that you have helped thousands of people by doing so.
Why wait for a diagnosis?
If you have a health concern or are suffering from injury, you are able to skip the wait and fast-track your diagnosis. We recognise that not everyone wants to have a private scan, but taking control of your health does not have to be as complicated or costly as you may believe. Vista Health offers MRI, Ultrasound and Echocardiogram imaging without the need of a GP referral and you can book an appointment within 24 hours. Prices start at just £199, and there are over 40 locations to choose from.