We were incredibly excited to be a key partner for this year’s HETT Show – a show which brings together all of the most forward-thinking systems and infrastructure that underpin and enable a data-driven NHS. The event, which took place on 27th & 28th September, attracted thousands of delegates to ExCeL London. It included a host of continuing professional development (CPD) accredited education sessions, interactive activities, and networking opportunities with hundreds of market-shaping suppliers and expert speakers, including NHS policy makers.
Attending these events is always extremely insightful, and, by virtue of being in-person, enables us to glean some valuable takeaways about our fellow major players and the zeitgeist of the industry as a whole. For many of us, this event was our first since before the pandemic, and so there was in many ways somewhat of a meeting of minds with our fellow vendors.
One overarching message that became clear over the two days, is that the mission to digitise the NHS has come a long way. When you’re in the midst of it, sometimes progress can seem painfully slow, but hearing the sheer amount of innovation and integrated, best-of-breed solutions which now exist and operate to streamline workflows, improve patient access to care and unlock clinical capacity through digitisation, has been inspiring. However, that’s not to say we’ve achieved complete digital transformation – in fact, we are far from that.
Which raises another – if not the – major theme of the event: EPR adoption. There was a significant debate around the best model for EPR adoption in the NHS, which ultimately boiled down to two approaches: large-scale, ‘monolithic’, one-size-fits-all versus best-of-breed. And, the tacit consensus in the room certainly seemed to be in favour of the latter. Yes, there is a clear and undisputed need for a centralised electronic patient record, but in terms of allowing for variation in patient pathways at a regional level and specialist, departmental systems that won’t require or enforce wholescale change management, and yet allow for more efficient workflows, there is undoubtedly a place for integration between large corporate solutions and best-of-breed providers.
And this, in turn, highlights our final key takeaway from this year’s HETT: Interoperability and Usability. The pressures the NHS is under are well known: staff shortages, a backlog of care, and cash. Whatever solutions we implement to drive forward the digital agenda, they have to be cost-effective; they have to talk to each other; and they have to be usable and make clinical access to information at the point of care quick, easy and accurate. Again, best-of-breed, agile and home-grown solutions designed for clinicians by those who truly understand the inner workings of the NHS have a strong role to play on our continued digital transformation journey.
Meeting with like-minded industry figures is always gold-dust. I think the sector really benefits from it, and now that we’re coming together once again with in-person events such as this one, there’s cause for optimism. When people come to us – or vice versa – and share our vision of where we want to go, it speaks volumes about the potential opportunity that we all have here in terms of revolutionising the industry.
Engaging with our customers and industry partners is core to our DNA at Epro – and being an integral part of such a reputable community who want to make a difference is an honour. The HETT Show plays a valuable role in celebrating and promoting the huge importance of digital health, and we are incredibly proud to be a key player in the movement.