By: 22 July 2021
Review: Acute Care and Mental Health Recovery Summit: Breakthrough learnings through collaboration

Digitisation is the future of healthcare. However, without coordination and system-wide support, digitally-driven advancement within healthcare will fail to arise.

At the Acute Care and Mental Health Recovery Summit, held in July 2021, RwHealth made notions of future innovation a reality. Alongside NHS leaders, Trust executives and digital disruptors, the summit created the foundation for infrastructures that will break new ground in optimising healthcare.

Leaders from over 65 NHS Trusts, as well as the greatest minds in the Acute Care and Mental Health sectors explored next-generation and recovery-forward technologies in tailored breakout sessions. Led by honoured speakers across multiple keynote sessions, including the NHS’s Ming Tang (Chief Data & Analytics Officer) and Boots UK&I’s Richard Corbridge (CIO), the RwHealth team empowered attendees through technological strategies that will change healthcare, for the better.

Ming Tang and Richard Corbridge shared key insights with attendees that will ensure clinical, delivery and interoperability success. They enlightened attendees on how executives should navigate healthcare’s uncertain future; and how data-driven technologies will support these endeavours. Richard Corbridge stated: “The future of health, consumer care and pharmacy is fascinating. Predictive analytics tell us that there is a need to create a new model that uses data to drive a more personalised route for healthcare. We need to ensure that healthcare reflects an omnichannel experience; and we can create this through digital capacities.”

For all attendees and leaders in the health sector, this notion holds true. Predictive data optimisation will herald a new age of productivity and better patient outcomes in healthcare. As Ming Tang stated in her keynote speech, events like the Acute Care and Mental Health Recovery Summit provides a platform to discuss and explore data’s role in innovation.

“The role of data and analytics will transform the way we recover in the NHS. At the moment, we’ve dedicated future-forward thinking in terms of recovering our health ecosystem, with a focus on patients instead of just services. Neglecting opportunities to discuss the onward journey and the role digital tools will play throughout will preclude any forward momentum”

By encouraging the healthcare community to turn ‘innovation’ into ‘action’, ‘RwHealth’s Acute Care and Mental Health Summit’ acted as the nexus for true advancement; that which will be needed to construct an aligned approach to recovery.


Addressing the Acute Care and Mental Health Challenge

The COVID-19 pandemic taught all of us the value of supporting a data-driven culture within individual Trusts and the entire health system. Without the support of integrated data analytics infrastructures, many attendees acknowledged how health facilities narrowly avoided breaking point in service provision.

In preparing for the future, RwHealth armed the health community with never-before-seen insights regarding recovery, vaccination success and other real-life challenges. Through predictive analytics and capabilities, the summit revealed key statistics that will determine the best approaches to tackling key issues.

By engaging with RwHealth’s AI platforms, including the Data Science PlatformRecovery and Mental Health Flow tools, chief members of the NHS and Foundation Trusts worked together to build truly informed recovery infrastructures and strategies.

One of the core topics discussed during the event was Acute Care’s Capacity and Demand issue – a challenge that was a top concern for 81% of the summit’s attendees. As COVID-19 struck, one of the most critical decisions our government and health care providers faced was how to best allocate limited medical resources, including intensive care unit (ICU) beds and ventilators.

This was not a new issue, however. Prior to the pandemic, many organisations struggled with managing the sensitive balance between supply and demand for medical resources. The pandemic threatened to upend this delicate balance on a scale never previously encountered.

Similarly, the mental health sector experienced an exponential increase in demand.

The service delays within the mental health sector emerged as a result of lacking system monitoring facilities and patient management. Through using the RwHealth Mental Health Flow Tool, the team identified these reasons as key factors to the care deficit many in the mental health sector experienced, among other issues, including: increasing waiting list lengths, bottlenecks and the backlog.

Among the Trusts operating during the early phases of COVID-19, those who fared well already possessed strong data-driven decision making capabilities. Under unprecedented pressure posed by the pandemic, these Trusts were prepared to act with agility; updating forecasting and operating models accordingly.

According to Ming Tang, healthcare leaders can only avoid a true crisis if they stratified their continuity objectives based on predictive data and forecasting capabilities.

“As we try to level up recovery and health equalities, data will be invaluable in helping everyone access support and care. What we’re looking to do is pull together the healthcare fabric through data. What we want to do is maximise the use of technology to make sure that data is connected once, and used multiple times and efficiently.”

RwHealth’s Data Science Platform (DSP) was named as one of the tools to protect our health system against potential crisis events. Those who attended the event explored how the DSP could optimise decision-making support.

The value of such tools in forecasting patient volume, bed capacity, ventilator availability were made apparent; thus encouraging key stakeholders to integrate data-driven strategies. The predictive healthcare landscape models – showcased at the summit – allowed executives to provide timely, reliable care for hospitals and health departments. Healthcare leaders used the RwHealth tools to predict impacts on the supply chain, finance, and other critical areas by optimising health care delivery for future crises scenarios.


Preparing for Potential Surge Crises

Looking forward, the potential of a surge crisis may backtrack the progress that executives have made in safeguarding the NHS and public health.

Many of the attendees expressed concern over acute care demand outstripping capacity during potential surge crises. As waiting lists continue to grow across the country, many organisations may not be prepared to counter increased demand under strained capacity.

In order to help health executives prepare for surge crises, RwHealth provided predictive analytics and modelling to highlight future industry challenges and solutions. To mitigate the effects of future crises, enhanced interoperability, cross-functional data initiatives and modelling technologies will be needed across the whole system. As Ming states:

“What we need to do is create an infrastructure that supports the plethora of digital applications, federated care and the individual patient journey. Our vision is to support the NHS Long Term plan and recovery road map, but making sure we do this through AI, Data and Machine Learning operations”

RwHealth’s Recovery Planning tool allowed attendees to envision how they could use advanced Machine Learning and Data Science to support the very frontlines of healthcare during surge crises. By targeting surge scenarios, attendees discussed novel ways to tackle: workforce shortages, waitlist profiling, and patient complexity modelling.

To learn more about RwHealth’s curated acute care and mental health recovery platforms, get in touch with a member of the RwHealth Team to discuss how you can plan for your recovery initiatives.