Dr. Peter Sudbury, Healthcare Specialist, HP Enterprise Servcies
Healthcare across the developed World is in the midst of a crisis driven by (a) Changing demographics and disease processes (b) need for cost constraint (c) the impact of evidence-based medicine and a focus on outcomes (d) the need to engage patients in their own care. Our health systems still reflect their origins in the time when infectious diseases, and episodic treatments, were the norm, and are ill-suited to the management of long-term conditions, which now account for over 70% of healthcare spend.
Reliance on episodic care, combined with traditional “artisan” methods of practising medicine result in unacceptable variation in outcomes, and there is a consequent need to develop vertically and horizontally integrated health and social care systems, and to define and standardise on evidence-based best practice. Together, these forces can be seen as a perfect storm, or as a necessary stimulus to transforming the way healthcare is practised across the globe. There is already strong evidence as to how the best, most effective and efficient healthcare providers work. They standardise and sytematise processes, work seamlessly around the patient’s needs, study their own process and outcome data, and run systematic experiments around incremental or transformational improvements. As part of the drive towards this type of best practice, governments across the globe are pushing their healthcare providers to up the pace on digital health.
The potential for ICT to support standardisation, and to transform the depth and pace at which process and outcome data can be used to drive improvement, is obvious and compelling, but has proved frustratingly elusive to achieve. However, there are now excellent case studies from around the world, illustrating every component of the journey to the digital transformation of healthcare. The IT sector can further support this with agreed standards promoting interoperability, and mirroring the system integration and standardisation that is needed within the health and social care sector.
Dr Peter Sudbury - After studying Natural Sciences in Cambridge, Pete qualified in medicine from Oxford University on 1986. He trained in psychiatry at St George’s and Oxford, during which time he took an MBA from Oxford Brookes University, where he first began to understand the potential for ICT to transform healthcare. Appointed as a consultant in 1995, he quickly moved into medical management, being a clinical director at Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals Trust, then medical director at Berkshire Healthcare, one of the early mental health FTs. During time he was also seconded to the national program for IT, and experienced first hand the difficulties in translating vision to reality, and the critical importance of effective program management. He then moved to be medical director at at Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust, a failed merger requiring very significant turnaround. Whilst there, he led the Trust to a ground-breaking ITO with HP, arguing that the complexity, mission-critical nature and pace of change in ICT made a long-term partnership with a world-class IT company of vital strategic importance. He is currently seconded to HP enterprise services “teaching a major IT company to ‘speak health’ fluently”, and improving his own fluency in ICT. He spends 1 day a week doing clinical work in Hillingdon.