Medical Device News Magazine

The Importance of Digitalization in Healthcare

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The importance of the NHS as an institution need not be stated. It is one of the UK’s most popular and highly-regarded public services, to which millions of UK citizens owe a debt of gratitude. But the NHS is struggling, on two fronts. Funding and administrative issues make it difficult for the NHS to keep up with necessary technological leaps, while staff on the ground are finding their own frustrations with both pay and crumbling architecture – leading to historic strike action. Is digitalization the answer?

What is Digitalisation?

First, expanding on what we mean by the term ‘digitalization’ is essential. Many will already be familiar with the word ‘digitization’, which refers to the transformation of specific data and processes from analogue – that is, pen-and-paper or manually carried out – to digital.

Digitalization refers to the wider general movement of processes and systems into a new technological era or state. Digitalizing involves the creation of new frameworks and pathways on a digital basis, in order to improve access, security, reliability and effectiveness. In healthcare, digitalization is not just a good idea but a vital one.

An NHS in Trouble

The strike action carried out by NHS staff has already been mentioned, as have some of the reasons for this strike action taking place. However, the big picture for the NHS as an institution is much more austere than that of its staffing problems.

The institution has been plagued with cashflow issues since 2011, with real-term cuts to funding alongside real-term pay cuts for staff. Meanwhile, an increasingly bureaucratic administrative structure has placed numerous costly barriers to care in place, worsening outcomes for patients and bloating the cost to individual NHS sites in the process.

Digitalization and the NHS

Reinforcing investment into digital futures for the NHS is paving the way for a streamlined health system that puts efficiency at its core, and puts its patients first. Digital tools are wide-ranging in nature, from interconnected digital systems that use the cloud to store and send patient information to AI-assisted portals for remote access to targeted assistance for patients.

Adopting new digital technologies requires a level of complex legal expertise to properly navigate the compliance requirements expected of institutions – particularly when it comes to handling sensitive data. The positive results vastly outweigh the cost of these consultations, though, and can help remove serious barriers to healthcare for a great many patients.

The strikes are still a necessary function for an NHS on its knees, but an equitable approach to digitalization guarantees a futureproofed health service that does not fail its patients. Improving accessibility and reducing administrative errors together make that future a potential reality; while allowing the boots on the ground to focus on exactly what it is that they do best: saving lives.

Medical Device News Magazinehttps://infomeddnews.com
Medical Device News Magazine provides breaking medical device / biotechnology news. Our subscribers include medical specialists, device industry executives, investors, and other allied health professionals, as well as patients who are interested in researching various medical devices. We hope you find value in our easy-to-read publication and its overall objectives! Medical Device News Magazine is a division of PTM Healthcare Marketing, Inc. Pauline T. Mayer is the managing editor.

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