IT industry association techUK has set out 10 recommendations for the public sector in using healthtech to raise the standards of care.
It has developed the Ten Point Plan for Healthech with its members and companies in the field, and drawn on its work with organisations such as NHSX, NHS Digital, Health Education England and the Professional Records Standards Body.
Some of the recommendations are directed at central government, including that the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) should mandate, assess and enforce the use of interoperability standards through NHSX and NHS Digital. These should be co-developed with the industry and collated into a single registry.
The DHSC should also take part in setting up a commission to audit the structure and digital maturity of social care as part of the move towards its integration with healthcare through digital. Having completed the audit, the bodies involved should define a target architecture and draw up a roadmap for providers to identify what technology they need.
Other recommendations for central government are that: NHS Digital and NHSX should take an international, open standards first approach in developing national assets and infrastructure; NHSX should continue to work with industry to develop digital health and care standards; the minister for health and social care should establish the role of integrated care systems in law; and the Government should ring fence funding for technology in care.
In addition, techUK urges the NHS to communicate the value of digital health to the public, creating a mechanism for easy access to information.
Data, skills and procurement
For the broader health and care sector, the plan advocates: improving citizens’ access to their own data; working with the industry to improve staff skills; and streamline the procurement of the technology.
Julian David, chief executive officer of techUK, said: “The past year has highlighted the essential role that digital health technology can play in supporting the NHS and care sector to deliver better outcomes for patients.
“Building on recent successes, this paper distils several complex challenges and issues that the health and social care sector faces into 10 logical and, importantly, achievable recommendations.
“The health of the population is the highest priority and this document offers an essential roadmap for working in partnership with the system to improve the delivery of care across the board.”
Image from iStock, Thomas Andreas