The Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System (ICS) has developed a digital transformation strategy to help improve the lives of people and communities across the area.
Highlighting the need to invest more in technology, the Digital Transformation Strategy and Roadmap aims to enhance experiences of delivering and receiving care using innovative tools and processes.
During the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, health and care services embraced the opportunity to use digital initiatives to help provide care to protect both staff and people from risks of catching the virus.
More services than ever used technology to communicate about care plans and the movement brought about many improvements, including remote access to care, quicker referrals and more accessible appointments.
The Norfolk and Waveney health and care system has recognised the value that technology can bring to services, and in publishing its new Digital Transformation Strategy, it hopes to build on the successes this area of work has had.
Ian Riley, Director of Digital and Data for the Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB) said: “It’s exciting to have a dedicated digital transformation strategy and forward plan for this important work across our whole health and care system in Norfolk and Waveney. Digital transformation and the insights it unlocks can improve care and health outcomes, whilst quicker access to important information can actually save lives. This strategy is a pledge by all ICS partners to embrace technology and use it to help people access the best services for them, at the right time.”
The strategy has three key ambitions it hopes to achieve:
- Improve people’s safety and quality of care
- Give staff more time to care for people
- Empower people to manage their health and wellbeing better
Population Health Management data shows that as a region, Norfolk and Waveney has a growing and aging population with many health and care needs and demands. Of the 1.1million people who live here, over 10% reside in some of the most deprived areas of the country – and using digital transformation, the ICB hopes to help reduce health inequalities and help people live longer, happier lives.
Ian said: “We know that across the area, there are pockets of deprivation and people who struggle with their health and wellbeing. Using technology, we want to know where these people are, how they want to access care and make it as easy as possible for them to live happier and healthier lives. Digital and data will help us find these communities and staff will be able to use technology to deliver better care for people within all settings of our health and care system.”
Some of the key projects on the horizon for the strategy include the launch of the Shared Care Record, which will help reduce the number of times that people have to tell their health and care history to staff, and Virtual Wards where patients can recover at home and be monitored remotely.
The strategy forms part of a bigger digital improvement programme, called Connect-NoW, which will see the rollout of more digital tools to help staff and patients have better experiences of services. To find out more please visit improvinglivesnw.org.uk/connectnow.