Stuart Nyemecz, district manager, regional public sector at EMC, offers his views on the recent news that millions of people are being shut out of doctors’ surgeries, arguing the application of technology and big data in healthcare has the power to dramatically improve the efficiency, cost-effectiveness and quality of healthcare.
In the news yesterday, it was revealed that tens of millions of people are being turned away from doctors’ surgeries every year, as many patients are forced to take their concerns to A&E or simply to try to recover at home. The news is the latest in a series of scathing reports and recommendations for the NHS, which have recently highlighted the financial difficulties and resulting impact on patient care in the UK.
There is currently a fundamental lack of centralised data in healthcare and the impact is putting a strain on GPs surgeries and hospitals alike. Personalised care is not possible within the current system due to both the lack of personal information available on patients in real time and the lack of big data to use in predictive analytics. Today’s reports of GPs turning away patients more than 40 million times this year give an insight into the numbers being forced to turn to A&E as an alternative. If you consider the vast sums of money wasted each year through emergency admission and re-admission in A&E or the late spotting of symptoms from delayed or rushed GP appointments, it’s clear that something like this transition to a data-rich wellness model is a strategic necessity for the NHS.
Through applying the experience from the use of technology and big data in other industries to healthcare, it will dramatically improve efficiency and the quality of care, as well as the necessary cost savings needed. The NHS has reached a turning point in its history: it must embrace technology and big data analytics or experience reduced quality of care in the face of funding constraints and an ageing population.