Managing digital change successfully in health and social care

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Why we’re doing this project

Digital technology is developing at a rapid pace, and is providing innovative opportunities to change and improve care across a range of settings. However, this innovation brings with it unfamiliarity and uncertainty.

Since the ending of the National Programme for IT, and the aborted development of the care.data project, national NHS bodies have become more open to more localised agendas for change, encouraging this through several policy initiatives, such as local digital roadmaps and the Global Digital Exemplars programme. The intention is that effective implementation lessons from more digitally advanced sites can be shared with other organisations.

There are currently only 23 Global Digital Exemplar trusts, with a further 20 ‘fast followers’ to be named. But there are more than 200 NHS providers of acute, ambulance, community and mental health services – and hundreds of social care providers – that need to share the knowledge and lessons learnt by digitally mature care providers in order to achieve a broader state of digital maturity throughout the health and care system.

The pace at which digital technology has been adopted has not been even across the country, and with local areas now embarking on the implementation of their local digital roadmaps and sustainability and transformation plans, it is more important than ever that providers of care are able to learn from the experiences of others.

What we’re doing

We will be conducting a literature review into the use of digital technology in care and producing a series of case studies of targeted provider organisations that have already undergone significant organisation-wide digital transformation, attempting to find the common challenges and benefits brought by their projects.

Often the challenges faced by providers are not just technical, but cultural, with technology disrupting established ways of working. We hope to produce a publication that will provide a resource from which organisations at an early stage of digital transformation can draw inspiration and information, both in terms of the potential benefits that technology can bring, if implemented correctly, but also to identify some of the key factors for successful implementation.

Key milestones

We plan to publish this work in the first half of 2018.

Main contact

For more information, please contact David Maguire: d.maguire@kingsfund.org.uk, or Harry Evans: h.evans@kingsfund.org.uk.