The benefits of hybrid working for healthcare

COVID-19 has caused huge disruption across society as a whole, including specific and substantial challenges for healthcare and the NHS.

Social distancing and other safety measures mean more remote working, and healthcare organisations need to find solutions for both staff who are working on-site and those working remotely. Hybrid working offers a way for NHS organisations to achieve what they need to without sacrificing productivity.

In this blog, we take a look at how organisations can move to hybrid working, highlighting an example of how our team at Phoenix worked with one NHS Trust to achieve hybrid working with Microsoft technology.

Looking ahead while guarding safety

As organisations in other sectors return to normal, the healthcare sector has a tough balancing act. First it needs to keep an eye firmly on the pandemic, preparing for potential future spikes in infections. But it must also adapt, recover and begin to resume normal service. Many life-saving services were reduced or put on hold for most of 2020, due to resources being directed towards battling COVID-19.

Now it’s time to focus on restoring productivity levels across the entire NHS, while ensuring the safety of staff and patients. This means ensuring staff can collaborate and communicate in the ‘new normal’. But there are a range of obstacles that organisations often face before they can do that.

Challenges for healthcare

Let’s put COVID-19 to one side for a second. From an IT perspective, healthcare organisations always have one main objective: to provide the best staff and patient experiences possible. To accomplish this, there are many obstacles and challenges that must be overcome. Some of the most prominent include:

Ageing IT infrastructure

Lack of investment in technology

Budget cuts

Pressure to do more with less

Keeping up with the latest technology trends

These challenges haven’t gone away because of COVID-19. If anything, timelines have been accelerated. For instance, long term digital strategies for replacing ageing IT infrastructure need to be brought forward to accommodate for the mix of remote working and on-site working.

What does a hybrid workplace look like?

Hybrid working is all about ensuring staff have the same experiences whether they are on-site or working remotely.

Let’s take a meeting for example. The experience of that meeting – i.e. the ability to see, hear and participate in the meeting – must be as easy and as effective for people behind a screen as it is for those present in the room.

For NHS Trusts already using Microsoft’s productivity tools and devices, the transition to hybrid working can be a smooth and seamless process. Software is one part of the picture; hardware plays an important role too.

Software like Microsoft Teams makes sure all staff members can share ideas, communicate clearly, record the meeting, makes notes etc. Hardware like Microsoft Surface Hub 2S make meetings are as efficient as ever.

Case study: East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT)

Read the full case study here >

Phoenix worked with East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) to help them modernise their IT infrastructure. ESNEFT is a great example of how Surface devices and Surface Hub 2S can help healthcare organisations improve staff and patient experiences.

Time matters
ESNEFT is an NHS Trust with over 10,000 staff and 8 hospitals. Its staff have a simple philosophy: time matters. The organisation is committed to improving or removing the processes that take time away from patients, families and staff. This way NHS staff can do more with their day, and all that patients have to focus on is getting better. This philosophy was a guiding principle that underpinned the digital strategy that Phoenix developed for ESNEFT.

Innovating to save time
Modern productivity and collaborations tools like Microsoft 365 were rolled out across ESFNET. This way teams could use Microsoft Teams to hold meetings and collaborate on documents quickly, seamless and in real time.

Surface devices were also deployed. The Surface family are secure, mobile and state-of-the-art devices, built to get the most from all those productivity tools that ESFNET’s staff loved to use. This included the Surface Hub 2S – an all-in-one interactive whiteboard, meetings platform and collaborative computing device that comes in a thin and light 50” touchscreen display. It can bring remote teams together so everyone is seen, heard and can actively participate, thanks to crystal-clear speakers and a 4K+ resolution screen.

These innovations helped ESFNET’s staff stay connected and safe during the pandemic. ESFNET used Microsoft Sway to provide COVID-19 daily briefings. Microsoft Teams hosted live events for the whole organisation and also became the go-to platform for meetings, which increased by over 500% since January 2020. You can read more about this case study here. Or watch this short film created by Microsoft, who were so impressed with what ESFNET and Phoenix achieved together that they presented the case study at their annual partner conference, Microsoft Inspire 2020.

Hybrid healthcare with Phoenix

At Phoenix, we have 30 years of experience working with organisations in the public sector. We have teams that specialise in every area, including healthcare.

Read our new eBook to find out how hybrid learning and the Surface Hub 2S can help healthcare organisations overcome current and future challenges.

eBook  - Building business resiliene in the UK Public Sector >

Phoenix provides the public sector with comprehensive technology support for digital transformation and the transition to the hybrid workplace. If you want to accelerate your journey to create a hybrid environment contact a member of the Phoenix Team today on 01904 562200 or email hello@phoenixs.co.uk or fill in the form and a member of the Team will be in touch: