I spent a day at this year’s Smart Healthcare show in London’s Earl’s court. I’ve been going for more years than I can remember – I’ve spent almost 15 years in healthcare IT. For me, it’s a great opportunity to see the latest products and solutions from hundreds of healthcare ICT suppliers. I’m always looking for ways I can innovate to help NHS Northamptonshire improve the patient care experience – and that includes looking for ways to free up funds to do this.
Our aim is to be the best Primary Healthcare Trust (PCT) in the East Midlands – so we need to do as much as we can with the funds we have. Normally at Smart Healthcare I am a bit of a spectator. But this year, I had the opportunity to talk about how we’re cutting our energy costs by about 25% each year and reducing carbon footprint by approximately 121 tonnes per year (equivalent to the output of 39 cars) with a customised datacentre solution from Dell and APC.
The impetus to this solution was moving to a new headquarters. We thought: how could we more effectively run our IT systems so we can divert more money towards improving patient care? Our answer: cutting total cost of ownership in the datacentre so the PCT can devote more funds to local services. And by doing this, we also help the trust meet government targets on reducing carbon emissions.
After my presentation, I spoke to a journalist about the new datacentre and he asked me why we needed eight terabytes of storage space. I told him about how the PCT analyses the different healthcare needs of the region- what we term trending. To ensure that we are investing in the right areas of patient care in the right areas of the region, we are reducing investment in areas where there is not such a big need. For example, some towns have a higher proportion of smokers than others, we want to ensure we are focusing most of our anti-smoking programmes there rather than in other parts of the region where there are fewer smokers.
So, the datacentre plays a vital function in helping the PCT achieve its goal to provide the best possible healthcare services for nearly 700,000 people living in the East Midlands.