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Premier IT Blog

  • Writer's pictureEmma Gaulter

The Pitfalls and Challenges of Digital Transformation in the NHS


Digital Transformation in the NHS

Anyone who has worked within or close to an NHS organisation within the last 10 years has probably been involved in a project to implement software or systems to try and improve quality of patient care, efficiency, and staff satisfaction. The same people will probably tell you that, as part of the implementation, a huge effort was made to: identify the correct Project Owner; employ the best Project Team; create a robust Project Plan and ensure there is a comprehensive training plan in place. But what next? What comes after implementation?


Now I am sure some of you are reading this and saying, “Well business as usual obviously?” but is it that simple? How many times have we seen such a huge effort during implementation only to experience a lack of compliance, effort and understanding: to essentially render the effects of the implementation practically useless?


It’s this handover to ‘business as usual’ from the implementation phase where the biggest problems occur. First of all, recognising the huge cultural change that is needed to embed any new system is a vital aspect but is often overlooked by purely focusing solely on the process of the implementation. Implementations by their nature are fast paced and hyper focused but once this phase is over, resources can be lacking that ensure the bare minimum is supported for stakeholder engagement and system support. It’s an ongoing and consistent approach to BAU that is needed to successfully embed any system and to see long term cultural change.


The biggest issue the NHS faces is, and probably always will be, financial. Projects are undertaken on a tight budget which often means a focused and fast paced approach to implementation with little consideration of the resources that will be needed afterwards. During a staff survey from my previous NHS trust, staff dissatisfaction with implementation projects was sitting at 80% with the biggest complaints being:

  • Lack of ongoing support

  • Access to training

  • Low compliance

This was also something I consistently heard from neighboring trusts we worked closely with.


So, the big question is how do we improve this? How do we move forward to ensure stakeholders have access to excellent ongoing training and solid process focused support that ensures they reap the benefits of the very systems we are implementing?


With our extensive NHS and software implementation experience, the team here at Premier IT are dedicated to working closely with organisations to not only give them access to high quality rostering software like our Zebra platform; Patient Acuity software PANDA and our newly designed, service led Job Planning software but also a support service that lasts long after implementation has ended. Our aim is to help and guide organisations to ensure our software is well embedded with a focus on:

  • Role and responsibility reviews with a focus on internal resources.

  • Training plans and reviews with help and guidance focusing on the correct training style, documents and environment.

  • Continued and ongoing system reviews with access to complex reports.

If you would like to find out more about the above and the services we offer to make your implementation and ongoing support a success, why not register on the link below and attend our webinar - Life after implementation: embedding your rostering system. We hope to see you there! Digital Transformation in the NHS



Rostering webinar

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