The efficient health system of the future

Essentia’s Healthcare Planning Director, John Kelly, presented his vision of an efficient health system of the future at the European Healthcare Design event, on 12 June 2017.

Summary

John Kelly asks:

  • What would the efficient health system of the future look like?
  • What would the benefits be to staff and patients?

John based his presentation on our work with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, to develop their Investment Strategy for the next five years.

His main points are rounded-up below.

1 Don’t undervalue/under appreciate what we already have

There is often a tendency when considering the ‘future’ that we must disrupt, or even more drastically, destroy what currently exists. Often, we just need to adapt, or rethink what we already have.

Disruption is not always a good thing. Furthermore, what is often deemed to be new isn’t actually new, it’s just an old idea, reworked, e.g. the electric car.

2 Innovations should benefit the patient as well as the staff

  • Improve flow
  • Streamline pathways
  • Reduce costs
  • Eliminate waste

3 The ingredients

  • Collaboration, automation and 24/7 working
  • Personalised care using genetics
  • New technology and better connectivity across the health system
  • IT-savvy patients

4 How it might look

picture to showpatient flow

5 Impact

Outpatients will be managed and treated using mobile technology.

Smart scheduling will match capacity to demand, reduce hand-offs and eliminate cancellations.

Technology will mean staff can work anywhere.

Off-site logistic hubs and automated delivery systems will reduce on-site storage needs.

6 Challenges

Making it happen will mean overcoming barriers around:

  • Inter-connectivity
  • Business models within the NHS
  • Public suspicion about change
  • Political resistance
  • Buildings
  • Adoption – we need to get much better and faster at large-scale adoption of existing, proven approaches.

7 Closing statement

William Gibson: “The future is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed.”

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