Effective patient engagement helps to deliver better patient care and ultimately drive better health outcomes; this is crucial to our strategy at Nuffield Health to build a healthier nation by “championing the health of the individual”.
To engage patients effectively we need to understand their needs, aspirations and willingness to manage their own care and then respond appropriately. Technology can be a key enabler, offering timely interventions and assistance in a manner most convenient to a patient.
At Nuffield Health we differentiate our approach through personalised, connected services spanning the health and wellbeing continuum; to get to know our patients, to understand their health needs, and to use our experts to provide personalised, accessible services and support, whenever they are needed.
We want to help our patients feel in control of their healthcare journey by:
• Ensuring that they have access to expert clinical information to help them understand their options, and provide tools to help them make informed decisions about the products and services that are right for them
• Removing barriers to them seeking advice and treatment, by making services available to them in a way that is easy and convenient
• Supporting patients throughout their journey by providing access to relevant, specialist and transparent information, so that they know what to expect, and who to ask for help
• Connecting information from multiple sources to allow patients to track their journey and progress and maintain engagement by providing ongoing information, tools and encouragement to keep them on track
• Delivering the best clinical outcomes to our patients, and continually striving to achieve industry-leading quality across all our clinical services
Our vision is to make our extensive offering of services available digitally, as well as physically, and to build stable foundations for a truly personalised health experience journey, driven by patient choice and needs.
Our technology agenda is beginning to address the challenge by:
• Ensuring that there is an electronic record of all patient journeys through our clinical services
• Joining up information across all our clinical services to provide a single view of the patient
• Enabling the coordination and tracking of patient journeys from initial entry to discharge, through a single clinical service or across multiple services
• Providing patients and care providers with a streamlined system to enable both access to information about the patient’s care regardless of where it has been provided, enabling the patient to make the best decisions on the right care for them
• Providing digital solutions to make it easy and convenient to access our services, empowering patients to manage their own health
Significant progress against these objectives has already been achieved. We have commenced the introduction of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system across all our 31 hospitals; two are already live with the others planned for the next two to three years. We are the first UK private hospital group to implement an EHR with the full breadth of scope across the patient pathway, facilitating improvements in booking and scheduling processes, reducing duplication and ensuring faster referral and scheduling. It will also allow clinicians access to real time, accurate information across locations, and allow them to make personalised decisions about clinical care using modern decision support tools. Once implemented, this system will collect all clinical information in one place and allow safer and more efficient sharing of information with patients.
"To engage patients effectively we need to understand their needs, aspirations and willingness to manage their own care and then respond appropriately"
Nuffield Health has also commenced the first phase of building a Single Customer View, which will bring together information from the systems that support our clinical and non-clinical services and join them together to create a complete overview of information relating to a patient. This will facilitate a more personalised service and give customers the ability to access their information and update their details.
We are providing members with digital solutions to enhance their understanding of health risk and use this information to tailor personalised health assessments and screening. Nuffield Health is also using digital technologies to develop engaging mobile apps, which, combined with targeted communication, will support and encourage patients throughout their journeys.
Finally, we are implementing a Care Pathway Management solution, making it easier to connect patients with specialists as well as simplify the coordination of care across services. It will also simplify the safe sharing of relevant information with our partners, including private medical insurers and the NHS.
By utilising these technologies we believe we can make step changes in patient engagement, better understanding our customers and their needs, delivering the care they need in the way they want to receive it, and ultimately improving their health outcomes.