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Digital, Data and Technology at UHL

Here at UHL, our vision is leading in healthcare and trusted in communities and we are harnessing the power of digital technologies to improve how we plan and deliver care – better supporting our clinicians to provide the high quality care we want every patient to receive.

Our eHospital programme brings many of these strands together into a single, planned coordinated and multi-year piece of work. Through the programme, we want patients to have more informed choice about their care decisions, to more easily make, change or cancel appointments, or contact the team delivering their care. And, if their condition means they can be treated at home, then virtual wards, with state-of-the-art remote monitoring tools and diagnostics mean they can get the same high quality care as they would in a hospital ward. 

Digital ways of working will help our clinicians to spend more time with their patients. They will see all of a patient’s information without using paper – records, scans, test results - anywhere at any time, by the bedside, in the operating theatre or in a virtual clinic. And if they need to order investigations or prescriptions that can be done electronically too. 

Our managers and clinical colleagues will be able to use rich data analytics to better use hospital resources, such as planning and the allocation of beds, reducing waste through the removal of paper records and contribute to our ambition of carbon net zero. Our research colleagues will be able to gain consent for sharing of records for research and make use of detailed clinical information to inform the world class biomedical research carried out across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Here are a few examples of what we’re doing:

  • Our recent upgrade of Wi-Fi services across our three sites has made it easier to get online. Free, fast, safe, and secure Wi-Fi is helping patients keep in touch with family and friends, and our clinicians to access health information wherever they are, without the need to head back to their desk. Just search for NHS Wi-Fi when you arrive and you’ll be connected.
  • Being cyber secure. It is our utmost priority that information about our patients and staff is safe and secure and only seen by the people authorised to access it. We continue to invest in cyber security measures so that patients can be confident and positive about our use of information and information technologies. 
  • We want all of our colleagues to have the equipment they need to do their job. This year we’ve issued over 1,000 additional laptops and 800 desktop computers to ensure IT equipment is in the right place and available to our teams. 
  • We’re pioneering the use of mobile technologies as our core way of working so colleagues can be productive wherever they are – by the bedside, in clinic or at their desk.  Clinicians can access patient information wherever they are, so now there’s no longer any need to head back to a desk to check, for example test results or future appointments. When visiting our hospitals you are likely to see our colleagues using mobile tablets or smartphones to access your records. 
  • Across all our inpatient ward areas and now also at our Adult Intensive Care Unit (AICU) at Glenfield Hospital we use Nervecentre’s electronic prescribing system for the prescribing and administration of medicines on the unit. All medicines, including infusions and fluids are now prescribed on an electronic medication chart, and we’re the first hospital to do that at this scale, making prescribing clearer, easier, and safer.
  • The recent move to only send outpatient clinic letters electronically to most GPs, rather than in printed form will save an estimated 200m high mountain of paper each year, driving efficiencies and reducing costs. GPs now quickly receive information about patients from UHL clinicians supporting joined up care.
  • Sometimes IT kit goes wrong and when it does, we need to get it fixed as quickly as possible so there’s no interruption to care. As well as the usual routes such as our IT support desk and web-based support, we’re promoting drop in sessions to get help, and pioneering our “Workshop on Wheels” – where our IT colleagues go out to wards and clinics to speedily fix problems or repair broken equipment. So far this year, our IT service desk have responded to around 100,000 calls, with an over 98% satisfaction rate.
  • None of this is possible without networks and other supporting IT infrastructure. As part of the trust’s annual capital investment programme we continue to modernise and replace old technology to better support new and increasingly digital ways of working across our hospitals. 
Digital UHL 2023-24