Breaking down the barriers at the AHSN Innovation, Improvement and Impact Conference and Awards

There are many new technological innovations that have been created to improve patient outcomes, make better use of clinicians’ time, and help us move towards targets, such as Paperless 2020 and other aspects of the Five Year Forward View. However, few of these innovations are becoming used as standard practice, and where they are, there is still not a move towards a critical mass adopting these potentially game-changing advances.

At the AHSN Innovation, Improvement and Impact Conference and Awards last week, Aire Logic staff were really interested to hear Sophie Castle-Clarke, fellow in health policy at the Nuffield Trust and co-author of Reshaping the Workforce to Deliver Care Patients Need, talk about ‘How to Improve innovation adoption in the NHS’.

Sophie shared some of her views on the possible reasons for slow uptake of digital technologies, including the way that the evidence delivered as a measurement of a solution’s success and capability does not always represent its full potential. Results from the introduction of a device/technology are not always immediately obvious, so early analysis may not truly represent the long term benefits. At the other end of the spectrum, even successful pilots are often taken as ‘only indicative’, therefore it is argued they cannot be relied upon to produce the same results at scale. There can then still be some resistance to mass roll-out of a new innovation, even when it does demonstrate positive outcomes.

Another important observation was that it’s not always clear in the many Trusts, CCGs, or STPs whose role it is to align technology to clinical transformation, or just to improve existing services.

And finally, Sophie explored some of the ways the wider healthcare system gets in the way of uptake; a lack of time to assess innovations, the fact that ‘the day job takes priority’, and a focus on cost, are all common barriers – rather than trying to focus on the long term value innovations can bring to the whole system.

At Aire Logic, we believe our forms4health product does in many ways help to overcome these barriers. With the help of our partners, Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust and Leeds Community Healthcare Trust, we have produced quantifiable evidence that our eForms solution does bring patient benefits and financial efficiencies on a large scale. This makes it easier for other organisations to replicate these successes, and have confidence that their aims are achievable.

Our agile deployments make the adoption of innovation quick and effective, allowing results to be seen quickly – and allowing changes in the solution to be made locally to respond to patient and clinician feedback. Organisations are able to rapidly design and deploy other forms/applications so improvements resulting from the initial implementation can be realised across the wider organisation. For example, at LTHT their eObs smart form was rolled out from an initial pilot of 4 wards to 30 in just 3 months, with an additional 442 users now recording observations digitally.

Deployments are extremely efficient so we can get a focus on value very quickly, and effectively determine the impact of the solution.

We can also, to some extent, help with the ‘who’s job is it?’ issue too. As a tried and tested solution in Leeds primary and secondary care, we can bring examples, run workshops, deploy the solution, train local staff to develop the system in-house, and take a lot of that ‘implementation pain’ away.

Click here to find out how forms4health can make a difference to your organisation, or contact Gill at to find out more.