The NHS Long Term plan set out an ambitious plan to increase the use of digital tools and technology throughout the NHS. In the context of this rapidly developing technology, NHS Property Services and The King’s Fund are exploring the possible impact of these changes on the estate.
‘Technology and the Estate’ is a series of research, events and conversation around how advances in medical technology will impact the property and estate the health sector needs in the future, and how integrating them could improve patient experience and outcomes.
The main report will be published over summer 2019, so this presentation would be timely.
The initial focus of the research outlines six areas where technology can impact the estate:
1. People’s access to services: tech facilitating more remote care (telehealth, video) and reducing need for physical space at GPs etc. Making remaining space more digital (self-check-in kiosks etc).
2. Moving care out of hospitals: remote monitoring including sensors and alerts to clinicians, and tools to support self-management.
3. Accessing the right expertise: ranging from setting-to-setting email, to augmented and virtual reality technology to enable remote collaboration.
4. Shared ancillary services: interoperable, digitised services to ensure information can travel freely from hospital to lab, enabling pathology departments to move out of hospitals and form centralised hubs.
5. Data and analytics: e.g. internet of things (IoT) connecting equipment and the estate submitting usage data. Also move to cloud storage lowering need to physical server space and data storage.
6. Planning for the estate: building in flexibility and collaborative working, including IT as well as clinical expertise, and having the right FM systems to support new technologies.