New technology is promising to transform a health and social care sector that is increasingly struggling with the need to do more with less funding. Many providers and commissioners are looking for opportunities to use technology to improve services and better cope with the long-term demographic pressures that the system is under. But what is important when managing successful digital change?
Digital change in health and social care looks at the key elements of implementing large-scale change involving digital technology drawing on experience from our case study sites, backed up with a review of published evidence about large-scale digital change in health care.
The authors identify five key themes for areas looking to embark on digital change:
identify the right leaders and manage relationships carefully, considering the need to address different working practices and to keeping things moving
foster user engagement early and throughout the project
use information governance to develop robust processes and build trust locally
take the time to create strong partnerships, with clearly assigned roles and responsibilities
have the right people, assets and skills, and design a clear but adaptable plan for deploying these
Digital change will gain momentum and legitimacy by being locally led. Current national policy has been somewhat supportive of local goals, but it needs to ensure that it continues to allow digital initiatives to bloom from the ground up.