Today we received approval for deployment from the IT deparment of our first NHS customer. This was the last hurdle, and in September, patients at this hospital will start using the software. We had 20 minutes scheduled to discuss our software but we received approval within five minutes.
We were able to get this because we designed our software to fit perfectly with the need of IT deparments. These include:
- Integrated into NHS security: our UK data center is hosted inside the NHS Virtual Private Network, N3. This is the largest VPN in Europe. Ours is the first company in the UK to both satisfy the N3 stringent security requirements and to offer data to patients outside of this network.
- Integrated into NHS work flow: we carefully built the software so it fits into the existing work patterns of NHS clinicians. The biggest user is the specialist nurse and our aim was to free up his or her time for working with the patient.
- No demands on IT support time: we host the software so we are responsible for supporting the clinicians who use it.
- Privacy all the way: data in our software is entirely controlled by the patient. He or she decides where to send the data, and who to share it with, and no one else can move data around without the patient’s permission. This satisfies Caldicott Principles and pleases Caldicott Guardians.
Finally, it is worth reminding people who work outside health care IT departments what work is like for those who are inside. First, in most NHS hospitals you will find the IT department in the basement. As a doctor on the wards I always felt that this was an example of how underappreciated these colleagues were. Second, although their capital budgets have increased with the purchase of new technologies, their operational budgets have rarely done so. That means they have to provide service to more technology and more complexity while still having the same staff. Finally, clinical staff often take out their technology frustrations on the technology staff. It is not their fault when the computer crashes but as clinicians we rarely understand why this is not their fault and only think of the delays to our day.
So go on, be nice to your IT department and tell them about Patients Know Best. Not only will we improve patient care and fit into your clinical work flow, we will also make your IT department happy.