Adam Crevald, Group ICT Manager at Nottinghamshire County Council recently visited Totalmobile, it was an opportunity to share some of the transformational projects that Nottinghamshire County Council is carrying out in the East Midlands region and also see the innovative work being carried out by the team in Totallabs.
What are the major projects that you and your team are involved with currently?
The health and social care integration agenda is top of our list. 40% of the authority’s spend is on social care and that percentage is only growing; clearly we need to enable those services to be delivered in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
We have a theme which is centred around ‘smarter working’ and that builds on the Totalmobile platform that we have put in place, it adds to a better collaboration space, communication tools, as well as additional mobile functionality.
Another key area for us is around business performance reporting, giving us the information to manage the service rather than just reporting on services that we have delivered. Instead we are able to look more at the data that we own and it articulates what services we should be delivering. It’s all about the qualitative as well as quantitative data and predictive analytics.
The final area we are looking at is the migration to our cloud strategy, which necessitates us closing our data centre within two and a half years and moving everything to the public cloud.
How are these going to impact the services that Nottinghamshire council offers?
The big impact is in the increasing priority of workflow integration and automation. We’ve had a number of successes in terms of pilots and proof of concepts that we have implemented. We now have live services for workflow integration, message exchange, automating the flow of information so that the relevant information is delivered to the right individual, at the right time, always.
Delivering the right information is an important consideration, it has to be contextual information. There is a lot of information that a social worker may want to consume or indeed a clinician may want to consume from either health or social care but not necessarily all of it all the time. So, for example, in order for a clinician to commission services they need to understand the recent past, not a huge amount of information that has no relevance. Similarly, with a social care professional, the clinical history is less important, however they do need to understand any clinical interventions that may affect their patient’s quality or standard of living.
What would you say are the key results that you have helped deliver over the last year
For many Councils the drive has always been to do more with less, that necessitates a more efficient operating model for the authority as a whole. Central to that is the ability for staff to be able to work in a manner that is relevant to the role which they are fulfilling. That means having access to the information systems to follow that working pathology rather than the system dictating the way in which the services are delivered.
By mobilising our workforce with Totalmobile and devices that are appropriate for the service; by improving the way in which the service is delivered and the manner in which the data is collected and recorded was critical to ensuring staff were able to fulfil their roles.
Another result, was having a workflow which reflected a more conversational flow that a social worker would have with a client face to face. It is a much more efficient and much more effective way of collecting information, rather than having a form that dictates the way in which the information is recorded. Similarly, having to record it on paper and transpose it into back office systems just increases the amount of wasted effort by each member of staff.
What have you done with the mobile solution from Totalmobile?
So, the first thing that we’re done is delivered that mobile solution out to 2000 social work staff to enable them to operate in a much more flexible way. That had knock on benefits not only in the efficiency and effectiveness of the way in which they deliver the service but also in other elements such as work life balance etc. We have evidence coming back from social workers that they’ve reduced the amount of time they are spending in the evenings updating back office systems which frees them up to have that downtime that is needed in that sort of working environment.
Health integration has seen significant change and continues to offer opportunities to innovate the way in which the services are delivered. A recent project, which we have conducted with one of our local health informatics services, has enabled the exchange of real-time information to clinicians enabling admissions decisions to be made in a much timelier manner and more appropriate decisions being made. This has reduced the number of inappropriate admissions, i.e. admissions not through medical need but through safeguarding concerns – to next to zero!
How has this impacted on the Council’s performance?
We have seen straightforward efficiency savings in the products that we’ve delivered for automatic scheduling, this has included a significant increase from 31% to 47% client contact time for our home-based services staff. This has had a knock-on effect in increasing the capacity to bring more people into service and in reducing the amount of time that patients are waiting in hospital for appropriate care packages to be put in place. As an authority, we’ve enabled transformative service change; the savings aren’t always in the local authority but more importantly are seen in the wider care community.