Interoperability in the NHS

16 August 2013

The "Nicholson challenge" is a set of mandates put forth by the England NHS leader Sir David Nicholson. It aims at identifying, and tapping, efficiency potentials in the service.

To meet that challenge of saving £20 billion by 2015, a number of NHS Trusts have understood that self-service kiosks can help them to improve efficiency and reduce costs without causing negative effects on frontline patient care. Patients use the kiosks to manage their appointments, update their personal information, and provide feedback on the care they receive.   


Interoperability standard facilitates integration of applications. Jayex Technology Ltd is an application partner of InterSystems, a manufacturer focused on software for connected care. In mid-August 2013, the companies announced delivery of the first self-service kiosks to the NHS Trusts aiming to achieve interoperability Toolkit (ITK) accreditation. According to the vendors, by using the InterSystems Ensemble rapid integration and development platform with industry-standard ITK capability, "Jayex kiosks are much easier and faster to implement for a variety of connectable healthcare applications".

Trusts with applications or business services that support the standard can now exchange information with a Jayex kiosk. This mutuality extends the value of the investment in connected systems. According to Jayex Technology Ltd, benefits for both patients and providers include enhanced patient privacy, opportunities for patient engagement with easy feedback mechanisms, reduced patient waiting times during hospital visits, freeing frontline hospital staff to address patients with more complex or urgent issues, and improved quality of patient information.

Innovative Trusts are finding more uses for the Jayex kiosk services than were first envisioned. For example, some are considering how the kiosks can make it simpler for patients to engage in the NHS "Friends and Family First" programme. The electronic processing of surveys from patients or staff will assist the NHS in achieving the Government's ambition for a paperless NHS by 2018, a Jayex  spokesperson explained "many other Trusts are also utilising the patient calling facility and realising benefits such as time saving and receiving real-time insight into patient flows".

Over the coming years, Jayex will extend its kiosk-based healthcare services to encompass multi-channel self-service portals. These will provide patients with the opportunity to check in and manage their healthcare needs from the comfort of their own home using a mobile device, PC, or potentially a smart TV. Such services will also enable advanced analytics, with reporting and tracking of key performance indicators (KPIs) that support better patient care based on relevant and current statistical information.



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