UKCloud Health delivers platform for innovation at NHS trust

  • Case Studies

The benefits of working with UKCloud Health on the development of a staff-led app have convinced Devon Partnership NHS Trust to look at how they can use the cloud to support its wider digital transformation ambitions.

NHS innovators at the Trust worked with UKCloud Health to create and launch the MyFluJab app. As this was their first foray into using cloud technology, staff wanted to start with a small proof of concept to see how effective this approach could be.

UKCloud Health provided a secure development platform and supporting advice that empowered a collaborative team, featuring staff from infection control, informatics and software development, to create and test a solution that could improve flu jab administration.

It was not long [approximately 1 month of small tests of change] before this proof of concept was put into active service, cutting time spent processing flu jabs by 75% and releasing 16 person-days for health prevention activity.

The experience has shown the Trust it could do more than just use the cloud for in-house app development; it could transform the organisation’s approach to capturing and sharing information.

It now intends to use the positive experience of using the cloud for staff-led app development, to develop simple and intuitive solutions which cut down administrative time and improve clinical processes.

“By working with UKCloud Health, we have seen that the cloud is a platform that can underpin our digital maturity ambitions, and provide the infrastructure for some of our essential clinical technology,” said Rony Arafin, assistant director of informatics at Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

“The team worked closely with us to help use technology to solve common healthcare problems, as well as highlight the opportunities that the cloud can deliver.”

With its ability to provide scalable storage and computing power, the cloud will enable the trust to improve organisational efficiency and clinical outcomes, using a flexible solution that enables frontline staff to use technology to improve care.

Addressing common NHS problems with a platform for innovation

MyFluJab app was developed to solve a problem that will be known to many across the NHS. Faced with persistently high flu hospitalisations, a renewed spike in norovirus, and prolonged cold weather, the Trust recognised that it needed to spend less time on admin and more time promoting flu vaccinations. This would help patients, the Trust and the wider NHS.

Staff from across the Trust came together to develop the solution. By using UKCloud Health’s cloud platform, they had the opportunity to test out ideas using a solution with no vendor lock-in – it gave them the freedom to experiment, which is vital when looking to foster innovation.

Using UKCloud Health’s technology and support, the team could work out how it could use technology to deliver a more efficient process, and see how staff would use it as part of their usual workflow. The team also had the added benefit of knowing that, as it had been using the cloud, the application would be available to frontline workers via any mobile device.

Once testing was completed, UKCloud Health’s security accreditations and network connections gave the team the confidence to know that, when it did go live, patient data could be used in the most secure environment possible.

The app has had an impressive impact. MyFluJab has reduced the potential for missing or incomplete information, and cut the time taken on vaccination data processes from 8 minutes each to less than 2 minutes. It is estimated that a total of 16 person-days were saved by eliminating manual tasks, allowing valuable resources to be redirected to promoting flu vaccination.

The cloud can scale according to need, so investment is only required as it is needed, reducing the need for maintenance of older systems and servers. New tools can be deployed at speed to meet needs around information sharing and collaboration.

NHS Trusts can develop their own solutions to specific problems, or tap into the innovation ecosystem that is UKCloud Health’s partner network, which features flexible solutions to common healthcare problems.

“Devon Partnership Trust are leading the way in digital health, demonstrating that innovation, coupled with advances in the capabilities of devices and the cloud processing and storage that supports them, can really make a difference,” added Simon Hansford, CEO of UKCloud. “Using the cloud means that the Trust can rely on a secure and scalable digital infrastructure to meet the needs of the people it serves, as well as develop other applications and innovations for the benefit of itself and the wider NHS.”