With a new digital vision for the National Health Service in the UK published recently by the Department of Health, so Orchestra for Healthcare is the perfect opportunity for healthcare partnerships to update and digitize compliance and governance. This can help drive new levels of patient care as an outcome of efficiency gains, regulatory compliance and standards throughout its divisions. The numerous flexible opportunities that a new world of RegTech solutions bring, matters to all of us.

Regulatory technology for Healthcare has never been more important than it is today. A look at the recent fines levied via the Health & Safety Executive illustrates how critical good working practices are. Healthcare managers need to be proactive and digital technology can assist quickly in getting things right. Healthcare is managed and regulated differently in England, Scotland and Wales. The various regulators across the UK have a range of powers to secure improvement and/or seek to enforce the law.

HSE is the UK national independent regulator for health and safety in the workplace. This includes private or publicly owned health and social care in Great Britain. HSE works in partnership with co-regulators in local authorities to inspect, investigate and (where necessary) take enforcement action.

In England, Scotland and Wales regulatory bodies such as the General Medical Council (GMC) and Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) have important roles to play in ensuring that professional standards are maintained and may be better placed than HSE to secure justice, improve standards or prevent a recurrence.

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With over 900,000 vacancies quoted across the National Health Service (Winter 2018) and the potential filling of these roles with skilled workers from other countries, ensuring regulatory compliance in all healthcare environments will be a critical part of improved UK patient care. Putting in place RegTech which will assist in ensuring compliance will be an important positive step towards meeting the new Department of Health digital strategy.

The UK Department of Health and Social Care has published its vision for transforming UK healthcare with digital technologies and this presents exciting opportunities in terms of healthcare development including RegTech for Healthcare. To meet this vision, the DoH&Sc suggests that healthcare needs to move away from legacy technologies, restrictive and expensive software / hardware overheads and away from simply maintaining the status quo. Instead the DoH&Sc seeks to place far greater emphasis on healthcare user need, security and privacy, interoperability, inclusion and openness.

As part of this vision the DoH&Sc seeks healthcare organisations to leverage modern browsers, put the internet first, harness the public cloud, leverage industry solutions and learnings, drive efficient data management and discovery (and this will also mean data sharing across care partnerships), adopt the best cyber security standards and perhaps most importantly, ensure that technologies meet real user needs.

The DoH&Sc is very clear. The aim across the entire NHS is to permit interoperability between different regions and systems and allow a modular approach to IT in the NHS, where tools can be pulled and replaced with better alternatives as vendors develop better products.

A key DoH&Sc statement parallels itself perfectly with the development of RegTech technologies:

“We need technology that makes life easier for staff and those using health and care services and their families. Many staff are resorting to paper-based processes as workarounds because the technology they use is slow and clunky and others still work in paper-based organisations where mobile working and digital technology could increase efficiency and productivity.

Yet others report significant improvement in working practices from the adoption of technology that works for them. Digitisation will save health and care providers money and free up staff time – money and time that can be better used to provide great care.”

Orchestra is designed to match DoH&Sc strategy. Not only does it offer a range of compliance, governance and communication services to assist the NHS in moving away from paper-based working, but it is modular, public cloud-hosted, constantly being developed, can be appended to in-house, works in the latest browsers, is secured by strong Microsoft security and does not require expensive hardware and restrictive, tied-in licensing to use.

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