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Managing Elective Care in the fall out of COVID-19 02.06.20

Innovate - Create - Overcome the challenge
Benjamin Franklin wrote that ‘Out of adversity comes opportunity’. NHS providers and the Centre have an opportunity to examine the norm pre covid-19, agree that it wasn't working and assess what needs to change. Now is the perfect time to take action to implement a change.

How can we work differently?

It is often in the times of crisis where opportunities present themselves that have a profound impact on how care can be delivered in a different way. COVID-19 became a “burning platform” that required a fast and radical response to how care was delivered. This crisis aligned hearts and minds and through the use of technology, healthcare providers immediately responded by providing care in a different way through virtual out-patient and primary care consultations which for many years have proven slow to implement at scale.

COVID-19 presents many challenges to health and social care providers. But out of the challenges come opportunities to really re-think how pathways of care can be better and more effectively delivered. As health and care organisations move from crisis management to focusing on returning to business as usual, now is the time to embrace what has been learnt and ensure that this learning can be embedded to improve patient care and outcomes. It is likely that the world will never be the same again and we must consider how we deliver care to ensure it is effective and efficient as we emerge from this crisis.

This time of crisis casts a spotlight on the damaging impact of manual, isolated patient tracking lists and homegrown systems and processes being used across the Patient Access spectrum. These disparate systems, processes and ways of working will wreak havoc in the fall out of COVID-19 not only because of the vast scale of the post-COVID backlog and the daunting task of administering it, but because that backlog will contain many undetected cancers and significant clinical risk of delay. Patient care will be affected with potential for cases of clinical harm due to patients being lost between the systems. It has never been so critical to work holistically and develop standards. Consolidation, standardisation and robust technology will enable providers to handle the challenge ahead much more safely and effectively.

Industry experts are already citing the critical need for effective capacity and demand planning in the coming months, but it is impossible to plan with confidence unless there is a foundation of accurate and effective data.

System wide transformation can only be accomplished by providing staff with accurate and reliable data using robust operational solutions to enable them to do their job more effectively and therefore enhance performance.