As an American, my affinity for Britain’s National Health Service got a booster shot after being on the receiving end of its kindnesses during a trip to England in July, 2015.
I accompanied my wife Kathleen on her business trip to Preston, England, situated about 30 miles northwest of Manchester. We tacked on a few vacation days afterwards, visiting the cities of York, Cambridge, and London.
While in York I experienced the same symptoms of an infection I had endured weeks earlier at a family reunion near Santa Cruz, California. I spent most of that week in bed at the rented beach house with chills and fever, and only started to improve once I’d received an antibiotic from a physician at an urgent care facility in Santa Cruz.
Hoping to avoid a déjà vu experience in England, Kathleen and I drove to York Hospital, just a few minutes from the city center. The facility is run by the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and serves a population of 500,000 in North Yorkshire.
“That’s our National Health Service.”
After about 20 minutes in the ER waiting room, I was greeted by a nurse, instructed to provide a urine sample, and was then ushered into an examination room and evaluated by an experienced physician. She confirmed the infection and prescribed an antibiotic. She even walked to the in-house pharmacy and returned with the medicine in hand. To me she embodied one of the hospital’s core values: “Always doing what we can to be helpful.”
Kathleen and I then proceeded to the front desk to check out. Both at check-in and during the doctor’s evaluation, I inquired about how to make payment. I did so a third time with the discharge clerk. I told her I had health insurance in the US which covered at least some portion of expenses out of the country. She informed me that there was no balance owed. A bit befuddled, I asked how that could be. She beamed with pride, “That’s our National Health Service.”
It was a couple of days later in Cambridge that I learned from our Airbnb host that I should have at least been charged for the medicine.
No Hospital’s Complete without IT
Since my firsthand experience with the NHS, I’ve gained a keener interest in the respective success stories and videos we’ve produced about NHS customers of LANDESK and AppSense solutions. Here are the links to those stories and videos in alphabetical order you can review should you have a bit of downtime:
Avon Information Management and Technology Consortium is a shared service supporting NHS Bristol, NHS North Somerset, and NHS South Gloucestershire.
“LANDESK has proved our original business case for purchasing the system. Using remote control, we have already made £115,000 worth of productivity savings because we no longer rely on contract staff or moving senior engineers away from other projects. We have also slashed our travel costs and our carbon footprint has gone down by 60 tonnes in the IT department alone.”
—Jason Wallace, Head of IT Services
Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust treats 50,000 people each year across the West Midlands and beyond, carrying out 3,000 operations and delivering more than 8,000 babies.
“Since deploying the LANDESK solution, the number of IT incidents reported to our service desk has fallen by about 20%, from an average of 1,100 per month to 800 per month. We expect this number to drop further as people get to grips with the self-service portal. The benefits are twofold: care-givers can get back to focusing on their core responsibilities sooner, and our ICT employees have more time to devote to proactively optimizing IT performance.”
—Steve Cotton, Head of ICT
Derbyshire Health Informatics Services provides IT services for eight NHS primary care trusts as well as Derbyshire Mental Health Services and Trent Strategic Health Authority. The company employs 160 people and supports some 16,000 NHS users.
“As an organization that serves the public sector, we work within tight budgets, and the need to deliver ever higher levels of service points to the adoption of a framework like ITIL. After a very rigorous evaluation process, we began working with LANDESK to deploy a solution based around LANDESK Service Desk—helping us drive improvements in Incident and Problem Management across the board.”
—Daryl Barber, Customer Service Manager
Imperial College Healthcare is one of the largest teaching hospitals in the UK, consisting of five hospitals across four main sites in northwest London. IT plays a critical role in all areas of hospital operations, including patient care, diagnostic processes, finance, and HR. With AppSense DesktopNow, Imperial College can deliver the responsive environment it needs and ensure that the staff stays focused on care, not the distractions of an underperforming desktop.
“Clinicians need real-time systems. They deal with patients in real time, so we need to deliver information at the point of care in real time.”
—Dr. Sanjay Gautama, Consultant Anesthetist, CCIO, and Caldicott Guardian
Kent and Medway Health Informatics Service serves some 35,000 users, providing the technological backbone that clinicians, care workers, and administrative staff need to ensure safe, efficient, and high-quality patient care.
“We decided to rebuild the entire LANDESK Service Desk landscape, upgrading to the latest version and moving from a console-based system to a browser-based one. We knew that running Service Desk through a web portal would enable us to speed up processes, helping staff to provide a more responsive service to customers. Equally, upgrading the solution would allow us to take advantage of new functionality, introducing greater efficiencies around call logging, device and user management, and reporting.”
—Darren Spinks, Senior IT Team Leader