The NHS is bracing itself for yet another difficult winter; one which will test capacity and resources to the limit. Currently, systems are straining under the weight of an ageing population, increased diagnosis rates of chronic conditions, rising cost of living, long waits, staff shortages and outdated infrastructure. Come the colder months, we will see more urgent demands for innovations to radically enhance care. Rather than reacting to these mounting healthcare challenges, we need a more proactive approach that leverages intelligence to drive informed decision-making – an approach the DataRobot team understands intimately.

DataRobot: Building Intelligence-Founded Infrastructures that Stand Up to Winter 

Dan Hughes and Paul St. Georges, Strategic Account Director and Senior Data Scientist at DataRobot respectively, believe that new technologies have an unprecedented role to play in alleviating strain across the NHS. By harnessing the transformative power of artificial intelligence and leveraging world-class data analytics, DataRobot works closely with NHS organisations to enhance resource allocation, streamline workflows, and strengthen clinical decision-making. Looking towards winter system pressures, Dan and Paul emphasise that ensuring resilience hinges on how well systems can interact, leverage and optimise data. This will prove critical for upcoming demand and flow planning. 

To achieve this, there is opportunity to implement data-driven solutions, such as the DataRobot AI platform, to granularly analyse care pathways and optimise components via AI. Paul commented: “I think this is where true innovation in patient flow will begin. It will start with us making advanced, data-driven decisions on how to optimise, or be proactive with the information we already know.  This is where AI and predictive modelling - something we deliver strongly on - will help health services across the board. From GP visits, 111 calls, hospital visits and readmission, artificial intelligence will allow us to do more than react to crisis, but to pre-empt the impact of events across flow”. 

The Successful Implementation of AI Requires True Partnership and System-Wide Coordination

Certainly, technology holds great potential; however, its successful implementation depends on the expertise of the professionals leveraging it. Ultimately, alleviating winter crises requires a coordinated effort among technology partners and the entire healthcare system. If applied judiciously, data and AI could make an important contribution. 

Both Dan and Paul stress the importance of collaboration in creating data platforms that can “make an advanced decision about how to optimise or act in advance, instead of waiting for the problem to arise”. Dan compares having access to “wider data feeds to having a wider field of view”, allowing execs to join dots and spot patterns across GP surgeries, ED departments and even whole NHS trusts. Patients can be seen faster and additional pressure can be relieved across the board, improving the level of service for everyone. 

The Art of the Possible for Winter Resilience: Digital Solutions and Closer Collaboration

Beyond technology, events like the NHS Executive Strategy Summit offer invaluable opportunities for COOs to engage with peers, share best practices, and collectively build more robust and responsive NHS infrastructures. As Dan states, the immense importance of an event like the NHS Executive Strategy Summit, is in the opportunity for operational executives to share in a “ton of thought leadership”.

New ideas and insight will come from having system partners, technical teams, and those in leadership positions all in one space. Stepping away from the day-to-day, alongside peers facing similar challenges in demand forecasting, will not only make healthcare professionals feel less alone, but, as Paul notes, facilitate the creation of concrete solutions to real issues. 

The NHS Executive Strategy Summit  is on the 7th of November in London, organised by Meet Health Events and Proud2bOps.

To learn more about the event, visit: https://www.meethealthevents.com/nhs-executive-strategy-summit-ness-2023To learn more about Proud2bOps, visit: https://www.proud2bops.org