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NHSX launches guidelines for new digital maturity ratings

NHSX leaders are working on a new assessment framework that aims to improve the current digital maturity index and support trusts to digitise more quickly. 

The guidance calls for patients to be able to digitally access their care plans and test results, for trusts to explore new ways of delivering care such as remote monitoring and consultations, and to improve care through the use of electronic prescribing systems.

WHY IT MATTERS

As the current index is purely based on self-assessment, the new framework will introduce a more representative system, which is expected to involve a process of peer review against seven key measures of digital maturity.

The new process will allow the NHS to focus on outcomes and prevent trusts from influencing the system to win central funding. The framework will strengthen the aim of digitising NHS services and build on the progress made in adopting digital tools during the pandemic.

“These two documents will give frontline leaders the essential guidance they need to plan their digital transformation. They set out what they should be driving towards, and how they will need to pay for it.

– Matthew Gould, chief executive of NHSX

THE LARGER CONTEXT

Today, NHSX released the new proposal as part of the What Good Looks Like (WGLL) programme to devolve more technology funding from central bodies to integrated care systems. 

Last week, openDemocracy revealed that Palantir Technologies made £22 million last year after winning controversial deals with the NHS. 

ON THE RECORD

Health and Social Care secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “Over the past 18 months we have all appreciated the immense value of technology.

“This is particularly true for the NHS with digital technologies freeing up hospital beds and allowing clinicians to continue seeing patients remotely – and it will be invaluable in meeting other health challenges in the long-term.

“This new guidance from NHSX provides a clear direction to all NHS trusts on how to drive digital transformation forward and transform organisations, which will improve patient care and save lives.”

Minister for Innovation, Lord Bethell, said: “The pandemic has changed the way we all see digital technology – from connecting with our friends, family and colleagues to continuing to deliver care to the most vulnerable in the safest and most effective way.

“Using innovative technology to support people is not just limited to our response to COVID-19. It can transform the way we care for people with long-term conditions, detect cancer faster and save clinicians valuable time, ultimately improving the care the NHS provides and saving lives.

“We are harnessing the potential of technology and supporting the NHS and organisations to drive real change with patients and staff at its heart.”

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