Clinical staff need to work with tech giants in the development of digital tools, report finds
A new in-depth report by Nuance Health Solutions highlights the importance of clinical input in the development of new digital tools and solutions.
Titled Clinical documentation and nurses: the challenges and opportunities, the report discusses findings from a round-table discussion with nurses in all areas of the healthcare industry. Chaired by Anne Cooper, Chief Nurse at NHS Digital, it highlighted ways in which the sector needed to utilise technology in ways which will benefit the delivery of exceptional patient care, rather than view documentation as a time-consuming process, where up to 73% of nurses go home late due to this process.
With limited digital training presently on offer for nurses in the UK, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has now set up an initiative ‘Every Nurse an eNurse,’ to address this challenge due to the transformations within the industry and the various technologies set to reshape current processes.
The report has found that although the healthcare industry has moved towards the use of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), the way in which clinical data has been documented has not, and it is unclear what data is essential to record, leading to a need to ‘reimagine’ the way in which clinical data is documented.
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In Surrey (United Kingdom), nurses are presently using iPads to document information through a mobile working initiative, and has proved to become a significant time-saver. It has also benefited patients by allowing for increased face-to-face time with patients.
A second challenge for nurses is that, “one ward may not record information in exactly the same way as the other,” presenting further complexities within clinical documentation.
It is therefore essential for the healthcare sector to work with the IT industry to develop new tools and solutions. “Technoplogy can enable a different way of working, but it has to be the right technology and nurses have to say what they need,” Cooper added.
Additionally, with a move towards a consumer-focused model, technology will need to look at ways to support not only professionals, but also patients through the ongoing management of their healthcare, where they will gain increased control surrounding what is being documented surrounding their healthcare needs.
Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool
An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system.
NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion.
Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making.
In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog.
Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening.
DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.
Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges.
"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”