Reaching for the clouds.

Delivering a digitally enabled citizen experience using public cloud
NHS citizen experience

The NHS Long Term Plan recognises the need for digitally enabled care – from public and community health through to e-health and smart hospitals. In 3 years, we’ve come further than we ever thought would be possible.

From Government awareness campaigns to the NHS app and the rising use of telehealth and virtual care – the general public is now more digitally engaged at all stages of their healthcare journey. It’s important to welcome and celebrate this significant leap forward, even if it came in adversity. 

At the same time, it means expectations are high. People want and expect an increasingly seamless experience that balances speed and convenience with face-to-face support when needed.

Public cloud is playing an increasingly important role in helping central NHS and trusts deliver that balance.

So what does an enhanced citizen and patient experience delivered via public cloud look like? And how does it lead to better outcomes? Let’s take a look.

3 ways public cloud helps enhance the citizen experience.

Public cloud gives you a range of capabilities and benefits out of the box, so you can more easily deliver a digitally enabled citizen experience that’s secure, seamless, scalable and cost-effective.

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1. More effective communication

People are used to intelligent, convenient digital services – public expectations have been Amazon-ified and Neflix-ified in terms of service delivery. Public cloud makes it easy to deliver intelligently designed front-end services that give citizens seamless access to information, on demand. 

Whether it’s through websites and online/telephone services citizens engage with – or outbound communication from NHS services – public cloud helps you deliver at scale, cost-effectively. Importantly, these cloud-driven communication channels free up staff to focus on more vulnerable cohorts and complex requirements that require more personal support.

Cloud-enabled data capabilities help you use citizen engagement to plan and shape service delivery. For example, you can analyse engagement with Covid-19 advice, healthy eating messaging or screening/vaccination drives. This gives you a wealth of data at population and cohort level, so you can drive improvements in communication and triaging.

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2. More effective patient engagement

When a citizen engages with services and becomes a patient, the handover is seamless because data flows are secure, shareable and frictionless. It’s a progressive move towards and foundation for the Electronic Patient Record, ensuring the right healthcare professionals have access to the right information at the right time. 

Both service delivery and resource planning are smoother as well, because it’s easier to see where a patient is in the journey and what the next step is.

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3. More effective pathways and next steps

Diagnostics and treatment plans are added to the data flows. Automated workflows can trigger reminders for follow-up appointments and alert clinicians to facilitate multi-disciplinary collaboration. 

This reduces the administration burden, empowering NHS staff to add increasing value to healthcare processes. Importantly, digital processes and automation also reduce risks of human error and data security issues.

The NHS public cloud first principle.

“Cloud services provide many advantages…including a reduction in the time to deploy infrastructure and a significant reduction in emissions.

As a result, digital services should move to the public cloud unless there is a clear reason not to do so.”

– NHS Digital

The benefits of a cloud-native approach to citizen experience.

The NHS has an established public cloud first principle. But to reap the full benefits of this approach, you need to leverage cloud by design – not just superimpose existing processes on to new technologies. 

This is what we call a cloud-native approach – and it gives you a foundation for greater agility, greater value and better outcomes.

Here’s why:

You can take an incremental approach to innovation

It’s not about a big, monolithic project with a high risk of failure. You can innovate in waves with achievable, accountable steps. You can build each element around strong governance and frameworks for data management and transfer. You can use open standards and build modules that are connectable and interoperable.

It’s cost-effective and flexible

You learn as you go, so you don’t repeat costly mistakes. And unlike traditional technology, cloud is essentially pay-as-you-use. This means you can design in a lean way, without having to overprovision for peaks in demand. 

It’s scalable and elastic

For example, during the height of the pandemic, traffic to NHS 11 online surged to 25 times the previous peak, reaching 250 requests per second. With public cloud, you can scale up and down as demand surges and wanes. You can easily bring new capacity and services online when needed to deliver the best possible experience.

It’s secure

Security isn’t something you wrap around at the end. With a cloud-native approach, your technology is secure by design, which means you meet governance and compliance requirements from the outset – and not as a final tick box before go-live. It also ensures you maintain those high standards as you scale.

Read how NHS Digital is benefiting from our cloud-native approach.

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A digitally enabled citizen experience helps deliver the NHS Long Term Plan.

Chapter 1 of the NHS Long Term Plan sets out “how the NHS will move to a new service model in which patients get more options, better support and properly joined-up care at the right time in the optimal care setting.” 

The a cloud-powered citizen experience is key to this – and with Nordcloud by your side, you’re in safe, knowledgeable and experienced hands.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help drive your digital agenda.