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Innovation vs just keeping going

Not a day goes by when I don’t tut at the disconnect between innovation and people having to work around basic problems.

Instead of fine tuning our Formula One car, we’re constantly just filling it with coolant to keep it going.

I met a man who turned out to work in the imaging department in an NHS hospital. Let’s call him Bob. I mentioned my medical physics degree and we had a wonderfully nerdy chat.

Then the crap bit. I mentioned my career in software development and delivery. Bob rolled his eyes and out came the gripes.

It takes him 15 minutes to log in.

Different hospitals use various software applications that don’t connect. If Bob needs to send data to another hospital, he has to download and upload it manually.

AND the imaging department tracks the number of scans completed each week. Yet, the software makes mistakes in collecting this information. So experienced, valuable “imagers” manually collect the numbers at the end of the week. Not only is this a waste of time, it introduces the risk of error. We’re human, we all make mistakes.

Noticing my horror, he suggested that it was all down to money. I’m not convinced that’s joined-up thinking. Time is money. More scans could be done or improvements made if the experts had more time.

Is it more a lack of freedom and autonomy?

Can the imaging department contact the software company directly to get this fixed?

Could they find out how many other hospitals suffer to add urgency to the fixes?

Or could a bit of lateral thinking within hospital departments find a way to automate the data collection?

Unfortunately I didn’t think of this while talking to Bob.

Instead I tut and hope that one day we will be tuning our Formula One car.

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