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Alder Hey to trail blaze digital revolution in the NHS

Alder Hey in the ParkAlder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust has been selected to join an elite group of NHS hospital trusts who have been selected to drive new ways of using digital technology in the NHS. These “digital exemplars” were selected from the most digitally advanced hospitals in the NHS and will lead the way in delivering radical improvements in the care of patients. Alder Hey is the only specialist children’s NHS Trust to be selected.

Alder Hey is already known for the application of the latest digital technology having already implemented an electronic patient record system.   In May 2016, the Trust also announced a ground-breaking multi-year collaborative programme with the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Hartree Centre to create the UK’s first ‘cognitive’ hospital by harnessing IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence technology platform.

The Trust, in partnership with the Alder Hey Children’s Charity, is also creating a digital app platform for use on mobile devices that will bring comfort, fun and distraction to young patients, while also providing vital information to both them, their parents and carers.

As a digital exemplar, Alder Hey will receive £9.6m over the next four years to achieve Global Digital Excellence. The funding will support the digitisation of 43 clinical pathways, enabling Alder Hey to improve efficiency and effectiveness, enhance operational processes, improve clinical evidence of high quality care and strengthen staff engagement.

The new funding will accelerate and enhance the Trust’s plans to deliver:

  • A fully digital and paperless medical record for every child, including test results and scans.
  • A web portal for patients and families that provides them with direct and  secure access to medical information and their medical records, allowing them to make and change appointments.
  • A web portal for healthcare professionals that provides secure access to records for patients who are in the care of a number of different NHS organisations.
  • The patient ‘app’ platform with several elements: familiarisation with the hospital environment; gaming and rewards for compliance with treatment; and distraction and entertainment.

Along with the other selected NHS trusts, this funding will deliver benefits for patients, doctors, nurses and other NHS staff.  They will be able to share learning and resources with other NHS organisations through networks.

Louise Shepherd, Chief Executive of Alder Hey said: “This recognition of our hard work to apply new technology in the NHS is wonderful.  This award will really help us accelerate and enhance our existing plans to improve care for children and their families, not just here in Liverpool, but across Cheshire and Merseyside and the rest of the UK and, with our partners, internationally.  It is no exaggeration to say that technology is the biggest potential game-changer in healthcare at the moment.  The intelligent use of digital technology, big sets of data and personalised communication has vast potential to improve patient experience and outcomes and we are excited to be at the forefront of that revolution.”

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