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IT considerations


Operational considerations

Due diligence is needed to ensure that in extending into another organisation, the provider understands the risks.  These may include ageing IT equipment and loss of knowledge of any bespoke IT systems associated with a specific service.

Both organisations should be willing to share relevant risk and costs.

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Operational considerations photoTechnical considerations

A detailed breakdown of all the elements that will need to be considered is contained in the reference document below and includes:

  • governance, security and delivery.
  • network: connecting the central and other units, connections within the local site and telephony and conference facilities.
  • common services such as information security, back-up and recovery services.
  • servers and storage: physical or virtual infrastructure owned and operated by the provider or host or a combination.
  • applications: access to admin, clinical and departmental systems of the provider and host.
  • integration: any interconnection of systems between the provider and host.
  • information management: information needed by both parties to report on services.
  • end-user devices: the various equipment staff use such as PCs, laptops, phones, printers and medical devices.

Checklist

The document below provides a checklist against which the IT aspects of a single specialty networked care model can be developed.

It includes the areas that should be covered by the business case such as:

  • the size of the potential market for the proposed networked care services.
  • relationship management defined through an SLA.
  • a statement of technical requirements and costs.
  • due diligence to identify potential issues.
  • risk management.

Other considerations will include:

  • a clear definition of the operating model and how it varies between sites.
  • staff and patient interactions such as meetings.
  • space requirements.
  • information-sharing agreements.
  • good working relationships managed via the SLA and day-to-day operational relationships.
  • business continuity and disaster recovery planning.
  • effective communications.
  • training and awareness of each organisation’s sites and services.
  • data quality.
  • deployments.
  • improvements in system-enabled processes such as reducing missed appointments.

The business case will also want to consider:

Electronic records image

Electronic records: A key objective for the NHS is to achieve a ‘paperless’ system and the deployment of new systems should optimise the use of electronic records. Business cases should include the costs associated with transport and storage of old paper records.

 

Sharing Information imageSharing information systems and services: Opportunities to increase these between organisations should be considered, for instance shared folders that could better support business continuity processes.

Patient communications imagePatient communications: These can be enhanced by creating more services for patients such as the ability to cancel and re-book appointments by text or online and creating patient portals with further information and services.

The reference material also contains a wealth of detail on technical considerations.

 

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