Using new digital channels to meet patient demands


An update on how we are reviewing the use of digital channels to deliver patient care in outpatient settings.

The Faculty of Improvement launched its digital outpatient initiative on 6 July 2016 as part of The King’s Fund Digital Congress. Over 60 NHS providers attended the event which set out our vision and opportunities for how we aim to help you achieve a step change in the way you care for your patients in outpatient settings using digital channels.  

What do we want to achieve?

We want to help NHS providers meet the demand from your patients to use digital channels as one way of receiving care. We also want to address the fact that 88% of the adult population use the internet whilst only 2% of adults report any digital transaction with the NHS. Delivering this change is a priority of the government and one which we should all be working to achieve.

What came out of the launch event?

This event gave participants an opportunity to see some great examples of innovative digital approaches already being used to deliver outpatient care. The launch demonstrated that there is a compelling case both clinically and financially and plenty of enthusiasm among NHS providers to increase the use of digital channels to deliver your outpatient care. 

Our programme of work will:

  • support clinicians and managers to identify the big opportunities alongside patients
  • develop and refine these opportunities using agile techniques
  • support the delivery of solutions to the frontline
  • drive the diffusion of proven solutions across providers

Organisations show how they're using digital technology to offer different ways of caring for patients.

How does this fit with the rest of NHS Improvement’s work?

This initiative is part of our intensive year of improvement which brings together support and shared learning for providers.

We will continue to update this resource with details of upcoming events and the work we are doing with providers, and post regular updates of how the work we are doing with the digital outpatients initiative is helping to change the bigger picture. 

Interactive workshop

Our first ‘problem identification workshop’ was held at our inspiring improvement conference on 14 July and facilitated by the HELIX Centre. Thanks to all of you who participated in this insightful session. 

After further discussion we have now adjusted our next approach for the programme. Shortly we will start engaging with 10 providers in 4 regional workshops to introduce how to utilise design in healthcare through presentations and group exercises. During the workshops trusts will be equipped with the necessary tools to carry out research in their own out-patients departments to explore the potential for digital opportunities.

We will hold a further session for trusts to come back together to collate and share findings from their research which will begin the process of responding to insights with technological solutions. 

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