Virtual HIMSS & Health 2.0: Panel discusses Managing clinical variation in a new uncharted reality

With uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 ramifications, healthcare organisations need to establish resilient and agile systems going forward. The facilitation of clinical decision support solutions reduces unwarranted variability.
06:09 AM

Credit: Elsevier

Digital transformation within healthcare has accelerated in response to the pandemic, with rapid medical and healthcare delivery change. The panel discussion, 'Managing Clinical Variation in a new unchartered reality', is available to attendees on demand during the HIMSS & Health 2.0 European Digital Conference and explores how healthcare systems can enable consistent care by reducing variation via digital technologies, such as clinical decision support solutions. These tools guide clinicians, along a set of care references, based on latest evidence and defined standards, to prepare for future events.

The panel consisted of Ian Chuang, Chief Medical Officer, Elsevier; James Bird, Chief Nurse Information Officer, Imperial College NHS Trust; Rhidian Hurle, Chief Clinical Information Officer, Medical Director, NHS Wales Informatics Services; Dr Tanya Pankhurst, Chief Clinical Information Officer, University Hospitals Birmingham, moderated by Dr Charles Alessi, Chief Clinical Officer, HIMSS.

A decade of transformation in weeks

The pandemic has become a catalyst for change within healthcare IT systems. The recent drive to digital illustrates that investing in innovation can deliver benefits for patient care, defining better future care models. Administering digital solutions within healthcare systems is now being prioritised to prevent further virus transmission.  

James Bird, CNIO at Imperial College, informs the virtual panel that Imperial facilitated a decade of transformation in weeks, with “60% of outpatients transitioning to virtual care a week after the outbreak.”

COVID-19 has brought significant challenges for frontline personnel. Initially, there was uncertainty surrounding medical treatment, with no real policy guidance and an alarming lack of data. This left clinicians in the dark, with outdated care plans and protocols.

As the virus spread, there was a dramatic influx of information, which overloaded healthcare professionals with inaccurate data. Rhidian Hurle, Medical Director and CCIO at NHS Wales Informatics Services, says it was challenging for clinicians everywhere to understand “the validity of information.

The panellists believe that digital solutions are vital if organisations are to remain aligned with evolving clinical guidelines. Dr Tanya Pankhurst, Deputy Director of Digital Healthcare at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), explains how COVID-clerking proformas were implemented, reflecting changing guidelines, and supporting healthcare professionals to make data-driven decisions to increase patient safety.

Leveraging clinical decision support tools to optimise patient outcomes

Clinical decision support tools are vital to increase safety and quality of care. Ian Chuang, CMO for Elsevier's EMEALAAP, explains how such solutions can update clinicians with the latest information via standardised care plans and protocols, which help address unconscious bias and prevent unwarranted variability.

Looking to the future: Continuing the delivery of quality patient care

As COVID-19 becomes the new reality, efficiency, quality and safety are crucial when addressing treatments delayed by the outbreak. The backlog of surgical cases, for example, requires efficient processes and expanded capacity to address demand. There is no room for previously tolerated inefficiencies, unnecessary costs and unwarranted variation. Elsevier's Clinical Decision Support Solutions aim to streamline processes and make repeatable treatments, such as surgeries, more predictable and efficient, which could improve clinical outcomes, as well as operational and financial metrics.

To watch the session during the HIMSS & Health 2.0 European Digital Event from 7–11 September 2020, register here.


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