HIMSS: Building the business case for a pan-NHS cloud strategy

  • Whitepapers & Reports

Cloud adoption by the NHS and social care providers has been piecemeal and frustratingly slow. But the arrival of new guidance from NHS Digital means that a new impetus is driving the momentum for a comprehensive cloud strategy.

This white paper identifies the key challenges of building a business case for cloud adoption across the NHS, and recommends the changes that will enable a fresh approach, preparing the ground for the opportunities and benefits that will come with cross-sector collaboration and transformation.

The momentum behind building a business case for investment in a cloud strategy throughout the NHS has never been stronger. In January 2018, NHS Digital, with the collaboration of the Department of Health & Social Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement, published national guidance setting clear expectations for health and care organisations considering the use of cloud services or data off-shoring to store patient information.

Arriving five years after the UK Government introduced its Cloud First policy for public sector IT, and four years after the National Information Board endorsed the use of cloud services in its Personalised Health and Care 2020 framework, the guidance at last gives clarity around how NHS and social care providers can best plan and deploy cloud solutions for data management.

This comes at an opportune time. According to the HIMSS Analytics eHealth Trend Barometer for the third quarter of 2017, UK participants working in health facilities only rated their organisations 6.1 (on a scale of 1-10) for digital maturity. The same respondents suggested that just 67% of patient data is currently digitised. This means there is considerable work to be done if the NHS is truly to capitalise on the escalating demand for digital solutions – so many of which could be enabled by a renewed focus on cloud-sourced infrastructure.