Responding to urgent priorities while pushing ahead with transformation
This leading NHS Foundation Trust has a worldwide reputation for clinical excellence, and over the last few years, has pursued the goal of becoming one of the most digitalised trusts in the UK. Partnering with Telefónica Tech to provide IT services has removed the immense pressure of day-to-day IT management, provided greater resilience, and helped 11,000 staff to work more efficiently. Together, the partnership has progressed the hospital’s digital maturity programme to advance patient care - all while responding to the additional pressures of the pandemic. Their Chief Clinical Information Officer describes the impact of the transformation on daily working life within the hospital:
If you’ve got 4 doctors and a nurse doing a ward round, and you have to wait for 2 minutes whilst the laptop or the computer reconnects as you cross Wi-Fi boundaries, that’s actually 10 minutes of clinical time collectively wasted, with everybody getting more and more frustrated. But since the transformation, that just doesn’t happen anymore.CHIEF CLINICAL INFORMATION OFFICER, NHS FOUNDATION TRUST †
The Trust needed an IT partner to manage and support their entire IT service and infrastructure. Their Chief Clinical Information Officer outlined their strategy, “We had a vision for a modern system fit for 21st century medicine, but we knew to try and run this ourselves would be a mistake. Now, we have experts across different domains that the Trust previously didn't have access to.”
The work that you’re doing, it is relentless, constantly changing, and in many aspects far exceeds what we might reasonably expect at a simple contractual level and yet, each and every time, you are all working side by side with us to deliver a vast amount of change.CHIEF CLINICAL INFORMATION OFFICER, NHS FOUNDATION TRUST †
A mere four months after the Managed IT Service began, COVID struck. This required a rapid response to immediate challenges, while also maintaining the highest level of support across 38 active workstreams and projects. Part of this immediate response included helping to rapidly scale remote working from a capacity of 3,500 to 5,500 users. The rapid switch also required rapidly enabling their team of radiologists to work from home with the same quality of images they would expect on the hospital campus.
Despite the need to tackle urgent Covid priorities, pushing ahead with transformation was important because of the immediate and long-term benefits this would deliver. For example, deploying secure, tap-and-go logins and 550 workstations on wheels, immediately boosted productivity, and helped staff better respond to patient needs. Longer term, the transformation is already driving valuable efficiency savings.
The hospital is a 24/7 business and needs to be working consistently and reliably, so for us no news is good news. There may be a tiny number of days where there is something that is not quite behaving, but it gets identified and addressed quickly.CHIEF CLINICAL INFORMATION OFFICER, NHS FOUNDATION TRUST †
The outsourced Service Desk provides hospital staff with the prompt responses they need - over the phone, by email, or via the library of self-help content. As well as quickly resolving queries, the team of dedicated experts have helped staff to better understand new technologies, faster. This team consistently receive positive feedback for the knowledge they share, and as testament to their effectiveness, 95% of all calls are resolved first time.
Via the Service Desk, the Trust is also gaining much greater insight on how each IT service is performing, in turn helping to predict and remediate any potential issues. They are also helping the hospital to optimise daily operations, for example, attaching RFID tags to mobile and static devices means the hospital can track and locate its IT assets right across the hospital campus.
At every level across the Trust we recognise the value that you bring us, especially during such challenging times. It’s hard to know exactly what the future brings, but I am confident that collectively we will deal with it to the best of our combined abilities.CHIEF CLINICAL INFORMATION OFFICER, NHS FOUNDATION TRUST †
The extremely high levels of reliability this Trust needed to support critical systems has been achieved, “We can now spend more time working on future initiatives, rather than setting aside time to keep the service working,” explains the Chief Clinical Information Officer. He continues, “We want to be able to do more and more digitally, and to do that, we need a base set of skills that an NHS institution isn’t well placed to deliver itself.”
Working with an Epic certified IT partner has allowed the Trust to get the most out of the EPR system, including facilitating its quarterly release cycle. “There's a very collaborative tone to all of our conversations; in effect there is no separation between your team and ours - we work in a very complementary way.”
The fact we have a service that is resilient brings massive value to the hospital; whatever challenges the hospital faces in terms of patient care, there are no challenges put upon it by the provision of its IT service.CHIEF CLINICAL INFORMATION OFFICER, NHS FOUNDATION TRUST †
Future plans include supporting the Trust with further innovation, such as rolling out secure trust-wide messaging, building a cloud platform to host algorithms to fine tune radiotherapy delivery, and upgrading of all major systems. As well as delivering new functionality, the upgrades will support the hospital’s expansion as it becomes a major genomics centre.
The transformation phase of this 7-year, £107m digitalisation programme included safe and efficient re-platforming of 1,500 virtual servers including the Epic EPR platform, 8,500 desktops to Windows 10, 1,200 laptops, hundreds of printers, as well as running the entire IT 1st Line Support and Service Desk. The next phase will provide services to support their award-winning digital maturity programme.
† The customer reference was provided prior to CANCOM in the UK&I becoming Telefónica Tech in the UK&I and the names have been changed for ease of reference.
*Annual savings compared to previous service
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