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Lessons on the integration of health and care


There is a growing focus in both health and social care on a much more effective and deeper integration of the two, with digital technology playing a central role.

While this has been on the agenda for some years, a couple of significant developments became clear at UKAuthority’s recent Digital Health and Social Care conference, sponsored by Blue Prism and Affinity Works.

One is a growing interest in robotic process automation to take on more of the mundane tasks and leave professionals and skilled workers to spend more time on the frontline delivery of care. An increasing number of organisations in the sector are looking to step up automation, but they have to take a discriminating approach in choosing the processes ripe for the technology.

The other is in extending the digital integration to the care providers in the private and third sectors. Commissioned by local authorities, they need access to crucial data on individuals, but many have low levels of digital maturity and need to invest in new systems and capabilities such as cyber security.

“If a person is in a hospital bed we should be ready to start preplanning their care after discharge,” was one of the more telling comments at the conference, and it will need an extension of the digital infrastructure to make this possible.

These were among a range of insights and observations to emerge at the event and contribute to the growing understanding of how to achieve the integration of care. It is all summed up, with details of some of the projects presented, in a briefing paper on the presentations and discussions, available for download from here and in the event overview video below.

Watch the day's highlights below and download the full UKAuthority Digital Health & Social Care 2019 briefing note here


Image from UKAuthority Digital Health & Social Care panel session

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