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Integrated Care Systems – Embracing the Power of Digital
12 May 2020

By 2021 it is expected that Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) will cover the whole country.

NHS organisations, in partnership with local councils and other supporting bodies such as third sector, will take collective responsibility for managing resources, delivering standards, and improving the health of the populations they serve. Commissioners will make shared decisions with providers on how to use resources, design services and improve population health – every ICS will need robust streamlined commissioning arrangements.

Activity may involve deciding what services are required in the local area, or how to organise activity to best deliver value for local people. Or it may be as simple as agreeing a joint commissioning approach for new community placements. ‘Going Digital’ to oversee the activities of joint commissioning and integrated care can be both strategic and tactical and will play a crucial role in successful integration sites.

At present, legacy systems and inefficient processes can pose a very real barrier to integration. Within a single organisation valuable resources can be tied up maintaining spreadsheets, typing information into outdated systems and reconciling financial information. The objective of integrating operations across multiple organisations is made significantly more challenging by this situation. Replacing outdated and long-winded manual processes with digital alternatives is a tried and tested way to deliver better outcomes for patients, whilst also freeing up valuable staff time. What is more, it is easier to integrate organisations where processes have been streamlined and digital solutions are in operation. Take for example invoice processing. Many organisations do this as a manual check against internal spreadsheets. Integrating financial processes across multiple CCGs can seem a significant task, but if digital tools are already used then the integration challenge quickly moves beyond, ‘should we?’ to ‘how and when?’.

Digitally enabled care will go mainstream across health & social care

Virtually every aspect of modern life has been and will continue to be, radically reshaped by innovation and technology – healthcare is no exception. Sustained advances in computing and access to decision-making information are driving choice and control throughout our daily lives, giving us heightened expectations around digital services. Technology is continually opening new possibilities for prevention, care and treatment.

Our care system is made up of thousands of separate but linked organisations. The burden of managing complex interactions and data flows between all stakeholders in a care system is a mammoth task. Digital services and data interoperability give us the opportunity to free up time and resources in order to focus on clinical care and staying healthy.

adam is helping. We provide our solutions to integration sites, CCGs and Local Authorities across England. We ensure that commissioners can access patient records and care plans wherever they are. We offer a platform of intuitive digital tools that help to save time via efficient processes, and capture robust and accurate data along the way. For organisations working alone, as well as those wanting to accelerate their integration journey.

Embrace the power of integration by embracing the power of digital.

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