Brexit, suppliers and health IT: An executive summary

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The financial and political landscape in the UK has become increasingly uncertain following its decision to leave the European Union. The National Health Service (NHS) relies on public funding, and as a result faces a precarious time ahead, especially as it continues its massive digitisation efforts.

The main challenge for the NHS is funding. It is already struggling to produce the £22 billion in efficiency savings needed by 2020/21.

Justifying funding

Funding earmarked for technology has in the past been capped or abandoned, which is cause for caution with regards to the future integrity of any technology-related schemes. Aside from funding, the vote to leave raises questions as to how current EU-based procurement laws and regulations, including data protection, will affect the NHS and its suppliers.

However, my view is that Brexit will ultimately create an enhanced market dynamic for the procurement of enterprise healthcare software solutions for those suppliers who are able to adapt their commercial operations appropriately. But the first step all suppliers must consider is their ability to justify any spend, especially if the Brexit decision ends up decreasing funding available to the NHS.

Generating ROI

Suppliers should anticipate the need to improve the robustness of their business cases for any proposed spend by NHS trusts. Equally important is the need to project manage benefits realisation processes. Suppliers need to link these processes with clear clinical and operational returns on investment. This requires appropriate stakeholder management beyond just IT leadership, and should ideally include clinical, operational and risk leadership.

Aligning supplier solutions with the optimum objectives determined by the stakeholders will enhance relationships and unlock necessary funding to support the successful procurement and adoption of these solutions. Solutions that, ultimately, empower superior care across the entire healthcare enterprise.

Dr. Saif Abed

Dr. Abed is a medical doctor, director and corporate strategist based between London and Cambridge. He currently leads AbedGraham Healthcare Strategies Ltd supporting the delivery of clinical intelligence, strategic planning, market research and medical director services for a range of medium to large healthcare IT infrastructure vendors seeking to expand within the UK market. His clients include market leaders such as Microsoft, Nuance Communications, Infor and Imprivata. He is a recognised subject matter expert in the field of healthcare IT and its enterprise level application in the hospital setting. His areas of interest include clinical documentation, workflow management, cybersecurity, systems interoperability and mobility. He has previously been recognised as a multiple international award winning and published researcher in the field of oculoplastic surgery whilst a trainee at St. George's Hospital Medical School, London.

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